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Trolley Envy; An Amusing Tale of Andalucian Shopping Culture

As we approach the Day of Andalucia we would like to celebrate a curious aspect of Andalucia’s local culture: Trolley Envy 

Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined feeling envy for someone else’s shopping trolley but I’m ashamed to admit, I did. 

“Mum, don’t waste your time and money. I will never walk down the street with a shopping trolley. That would be fashion suicide and I’m not going there!” I admonished my mother for even contemplating the idea on one of her recent trips to see her 2nd born.

Rarely do mothers listen to their sons and she went straight out and bought me one.

Now when I say trolley, I mean the kind that are prevalent all across our land.  After reading this you’ll suddenly notice them EVERYWHERE! Coming off buses, on the street corners, lined up and chained by the tills in all the supermarkets (well actually, the more trustworthy ones like Mercadona let you take them in now. You just have to show your empty trolley to the person on the till after loading everything onto the belt. So actually, thinking about it, there´s no trust involved there either).

They are the classic apparel of the local shopper in Spain and I have to admit that after claiming such anti-trolley sentiments, mine is paramount to a successful and pleasant shop and I am rather fond of it.

Mine’s a Rolser in a masculine blue and grey check design – very understated.


Spanish shopping trolley
Manni and his stylish trolley

Other brands include Playmarket and Garmol and the German brand Reisenthel seems to be making a sweep of the trolley stakes. They´re even in El Corte Inglés!

A Rolser is equivalent to a VW Golf; sturdy, reliable – we could call it a classic. There are no surprises. But it´s on my recent trip to Jerez market that I discovered the green eyed monster of Trolley Envy as I observed the market fashionistas stepping out with their designer brands.


Shopping at Jerez market
Shopping trolley fashionista at Jerez market
Spanish market with shopping trolleys
Another gent with a stylish Rolser

And it´s not just happening in Jerez, Marbella or Seville, no, even in the smallest towns, designer trolleys are making a stand and strutting their stuff in the local aisles.


photo 3

Playmarkets are making statements with bold patterns and vivid colours and some models even come with high-tech extras like un-zippable freezer bags loaded to the front and brakes for hill shopping!


Spanish designer shopping trolley
Designer models even have a freezer compartment

Reisenthel are introducing new shapes with designer curves, moving away from the more classic box on wheels. I could hardly believe my eyes. And then I felt it…….Trolley Envy. it took me quite by surprise and left me gasping. Ashamed, I grabbed my Rolser and moved on to the next fishmonger, trying to forget it and let the moment pass.

In this wonderful land of Andalucia, we are moved through to sentiments barely imaginable to our previous mindsets. It makes me chuckle at myself for being so inane and petty and then I think, no, actually I am thankful that through cultural osmosis I am able to feel something so alien to the previous “me”.

I did (sorry!) cast my eyes over the Trolley Section on a trip to Carrefour but resisted all temptation.


Shopping trolleys for sale in Carrefour
Shopping trolley aisle, a dangerous place!

For the moment I will remain faithful to my Rolser and cast out all imaginings of upgrading. Long Live the Trolley! Long live Andalucia! Viva!

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