Product testing, African style

Wanzl stories (part 9)

Achieving business success on the African continent requires not only patience and tenacity, but above all a great deal of talent for improvisation and a willingness to take unconventional steps. In South Africa, Wanzl had to resolve scepticism about the weight a plastic shopping trolley could carry – and they had to do it quickly. The Head of Exports did not need to think about it for long: he was off – leaping into the shopping trolley! This proof with a fully grown man weighing a good 85 kg (13 st 5 lbs) should really have been sufficient, but far from it:

one of the customers present immediately copied him and was clearly very comfortable in this plastic German vehicle. There was much excitement as photographs were taken documenting the quality of the Wanzl shopping trolley. To this day, this extraordinary procedure remains a “Shopping Trolley Standard for Africa”. Other nations started to put Wanzl products through their paces as well, though – for example, in Switzerland engineers loaded a Wanzl shopping trolley with the weight of an elephant and let it crash into a wall at 120 km/h (75 mph). It withstood this and all the other load tests. When it comes to stunts, Wanzl quality passes every time!