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Collapsible Shopping Transporter

Hi, I am a Computer Aided Product Design Student at the University of Northumbria, and for my final year project I have decided to come up with a concept for people who carry their grocery shopping home by hand.

This is a definite problem and one without a real solution, other than paying for a taxi to take you home (extra costs and waiting around). My idea is to design a wheeled storage device that collapses into either a backpack or a shoulder strap bag for when the container is empty.

This will ensure that when you are travelling to the supermarket you won't have to drag an empty storage device with you (including around the shop) and then put it into its storage device function when you are at the till.

I would love to know people’s opinions on this type of product and whether they'd use it or not. Also what other purposes could it be used for. Thanks all!


Active Member
Hi Adam,

Welcome to DF :)

I'm not a product designer so apologies if my questions are a bit naive! Just to be clear, this is a product for people without a car? So walking to your local shops and bringing your shopping home 'on foot'?

My first impressions are making me think how's it going to be different to an old style shopping trolley, ie. a bag with frame + 2 wheels and a handle? How will it operate once full, is the USP the fact the bag/device will be collapsible/compact on the way to the shops?

What stage are you at with the project, concept stage or do you have visuals, would be interested to see :)



Staff member
what you mean like this lot.....

My nan had one of the 'bag' type ones about 20 year ago when they had to use the bus to go into town and walk a mile to the bus stop.

My background is product design (albeit now cad orientated) and sometimes theres no need to redesign a product that is already out there

edit: and I assume it's due to age that it appears that you've never really heard of/seen the ones that both me and greg are aware of..
Hi, I am aware of the old style shopping trollies but mine will collapse so you won't have to lug around an empty transport system. And although my product might be similar to the current devices that you are aware of, I am trying to get away from those users for mine. It does collapse, which is the USP, and I want it to work well in both of its forms.

It is primarily for people without the use of a car. These users also restrict how much they buy from the supermarket because they have to carry the shopping home themselves!

I am just at the research point of my project (but I have a few concepts in mind) and I am very grateful for any feedback.

Thanks guys!


Staff member
(responding to greg at time) not sure how it can be a different take when you can already buy that sort of thing he's describing (although my first thoughts were for the granny trolley). It's not even that hard to find on google - a search for 'collapsible shopping trolley' in google's shopping page and this comes up

edit: here's another option
Hi Levi, I have researched into similar products such as the one you have posted. That is a collapsible shopping trolly, but my idea is to have it collapse into a useable backpack / shoulder strap bag, which is the challenge. Also by the reviews underneath the item it doesn't sound like it has been made very well for its operational use. Thanks for the input :)


Staff member
Adam Eastwood said:
backpack / shoulder strap bag,
so what age/type of person is this aimed at, when I was at uni I didn't have my car, all I did was take a backpack as did everyone else I knew (or we grabbed a lift with the bloke with the car :up:).

Now it might be different in London (other city) but I can't even remember the last time I saw someone using any sort of trolley transportation while shopping, not even old people and I live in the sticks.
Yeah my project is not aimed at the elderly. Students would be a good user but designing for students is very risky (limited incomes). But there are thousands of people without the use of a car that have to get their shopping home, all I'm doing is trying to come up with a one off fixed cost alternative to home delivery, taxi hire, buses, ect.

The backpack, I have found, is a popular solution, but I wouldn't really call it a complete solution as you are limited to how much you buy/volume of purchased items. If I can manufacture this product cheaply enough I feel that people would buy it and use it for other uses outside of grocery shopping, which is a research point I am still undertaking :)
Hi I guess I'm your target market (well almost but not quite). I do have a car but I choose to walk to my local supermarket for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons being that I have to limit my purchases to what I can carry. If I genuinely need more than I can carry, then I have to make two trips, hence twice the exercise.

I would certainly be interested in the backpack idea for going to gardening shows and such. A lot of people take those plastic boxes on wheels but then you have to carry/trundle them around if you don't buy anything. Wipe clean, certainly an advantage.

Any chance I could persuade you to design a cat carrier on wheels? My moggies are getting a bit fat to carry around now.

Hi there, I am a product/furniture designer and I used to have a bag that could double in capacity to allow more student food inside. Basically there was a zip at the base of the bag that - when unzipped - the interior of the bag inverted. almost if the bag was alive and ****ting its insides out. This may be a possible solution, with modification and refinement... and more class, as it did look wrong.

Alternatively, have you ever seen these 5 Shopping Poly Plastic Bag Carrier Handle Hook Yellow - Wholesale Factory Direct or something to that affect? Basically reducing the strain on you on your palms allowing you to carry more for longer without your palms bleeding.

Cheers. Matt.
Why reinvent the wheel? Ganny wheelie trollies are fine...students use back packs (as did I) you can carry more beer and pizza.

I see what your trying to do...but why?