Sales of a much-ridiculed high street accessory are booming in the North-East, as the humble wheeled shopping trolley makes its return to our high streets. Emma Sisk reports

COMMONLY associated with grannies, wheeled 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.

But with the modern craze for vintage refusing to go away, shopping trolleys may be hitting the catwalks sooner rather than later, and today’s young people could be spearheading the revival.

Among those enjoying the spring sunshine in Darlington town centre was Oliver Burgess, 20, a student at the University of Lincoln.

He said: “They’re not as ridiculous as bum bags, which have seen a revival this year.

“I see students using fabric trolleys at my local supermarket; rising costs for students mean that fashions follow suit.”

Anna Titley, 17, was hesitant. She said: “I wouldn’t buy one. But if everyone else was doing it, I’d consider it.”

Matthew Foley, 18, insisted: “They’re for OAPs only. Backpacks are easier.”

Websites such as Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest ensure that teens stay on top of trends.

A Nineties revival is currently making waves on the high street, with high-waisted jeans, jelly shoes and scrunchies suddenly popular once more.

The rise of hipster culture means that youth fashion has in recent years become ironic and playful, and the shopping trolley would be an easy addition to an ever expanding wardrobe.

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

Discount food retailers who refuse to 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.

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.”