My local mall has instituted a new rule - shopping carts are not allowed to leave their "base" stores: Sears, Wal-Mart, Sobeys and Toys r Us. That means there are no carts available in the main mall, and there are posts at the entrances to each of the base stores preventing you from taking the carts out.
There are (limited) strollers available at one kiosk in the mall - they have baskets and you can even get double strollers.
I think this is the worst idea ever. I am a mother of two. We do not take the infant car seat out of the car, nor do we have a stroller that's appropriate for an infant, I wear Eli in a carrier. We do have a stroller for Hana, but it has a rather small basket. WE normally go to the mall at least once a week, for the change of scenery if nothing else. When the weather is bad we go more often. A usual shopping trip at the mall would involve picking up a few things at Wal-Mart (one end of the mall) and then getting groceries at Sobeys )opposite end). With the new rules, these are my options:
1 - put Eli in a carrier and bring the stroller for Hana, only pick up a few things. This means more trips to the mall as I can't get a full grocery order.
2 - put Eli in a carrier and pray one of the strollers are available. So far there have never been strollers available when I've been there, but the mall keeps saying they're going to get more.
3 - Park at Wal-Mart, put Eli in a carrier and Hana in a cart. Shop, bring everything to the car, drive over to Sobeys and repeat. This means not going through the mall (which means not getting my tea at Starbucks or checking any other stores)
4 - Carry purchases through the mall while keeping track of Hana while I go to the other base store.
So which will I choose? None of the above. All of the options either require more stress or more driving, and none of them are worth it. Instead, I'll find another place to shop. Not far from the mall is another smaller shopping center that has a grocery store, Zellers and a dollar store, so I'll do most of my shopping there. When I do need to go to the mall, I'll either make sure Ben can come with me, or leave at least one of the kids at home with him. I think this is absolutely ridiculous. Whomever decided to make this change didn't realize the impact it would have on families or on their sales. I know I'll be spending much less time there - good for my budget, bad for theirs.