A Guide For Choosing Trolley Wheels In Retail

The humble trolley may seem like a fairly insignificant part of your overall retail business, let alone the wheels and castors which it rests upon. But trolleys should not be underestimated – they are an essential tool to allow customers to easily load up and transport goods, and they can help staff in the moving and handling of your stock too.

The trolley began to grace our shop floors over 60 years ago, as an American supermarket owner sat pondering in his office. He balanced a shopping basket onto an office chair with wheels whilst brainstorming how his customers might move more groceries. It turned out that he was onto something, and the first shopping trolley was born.

Nowadays, the trolley is everywhere, with a multitude of different makes and models available on the market. And, to complement the vast amount of trolleys there are also a plethora of different wheels to choose from, for efficient moving and performance. So, what do you need to consider when selecting trolley wheels and castors for a retail environment? Here’s some food for thought.


We’ve all experienced electrostatic discharge in our time – that little, unexpected shock when touching an object. Although they may feel insignificant to the human touch, these shocks actually have the potential to seriously damage electronic equipment – such as the tills in your shop. Wheels and castors can build up static electricity the longer they are rolled around – and they are rolled around quite a lot in a typical supermarket shop. Consider opting for some anti-static trolley wheels for protection from this. Available from a range of suppliers, this innovative wheel type are made from conductive material allowing the charge to pass through and not build up.


Ever got sick of the noise in your shop? A busy shop is often noisy anyway, and trolley wheels don’t help. A combination of customers rolling their trolleys around and staff wheeling out new supplies in rollcages can get grating quickly, and is unpleasant for your customers to have to put up with. Luckily, there have been a number of developments in this area in recent years. By replacing metal components with plastic components, companies have been able to produce special ultra-low noise wheels, and they are more customisable and aesthetically pleasing too. When shopping for wheels, keeps an eye out for those that state they are low noise.


This one should be a given, but unfortunately many retailers on a budget try to skimp here. One word – don’t. How unprofessional do you think it will look to a customer doing their shopping to experience one of their trolley wheels suddenly bursting? Shop floors are not always the most clean and tidy of places, and punctures can happen. Avoid it with puncture proof wheels. The best to use are microcellular wheels, which use an infill layer – like foam – rather than being filled with air.

Size & Weight

Whilst you may think that small, subtle wheels are the most aesthetically pleasing, they are the least stable. The size of wheel you choose should be dependent on the size of the trolley and the likely maximum weight it will be expected to hold. With a standard shopping trolley this shouldn’t be a huge amount, so a medium sized wheel is probably best.

Leave a Reply