THE cost of carrier bags has sparked a boom in the North-East of one of the most ridiculed high street accessories – the humble wheeled shopping trolley.

Argos says it has seen sales increase by almost 50 per cent since this time last year.

Discount food retailers who don’t supply free carrier bags and charges levied by other retailers, are believed to be behind the sudden surge in popularity of the wheeled shopping trolley.

With so much shopping to carry these days the shopping trolleys are one of the obvious answers to today’s value conscious shoppers buying in bulk.

Commonly associated with grannies, the shopping trolleys hit a popularity peak in the Seventies before the arrival of huge hypermarkets and disposable carrier bags.

Demand gradually declined with the growth of out of town shopping centres where a car was closer at hand and lifting and carrying was minimal.

Laurelin Sharp, Argos bags buyer said: “We first noticed a surge in the shopping trolley sales early last summer – which coincided with consumers moving towards discount food retailers and bulk buying.

“Trollies are really handy and versatile and we see them being snapped up by customers of all ages. The once dominant tartan design has been updated with modern materials and prints.”