good thing

Shoppng list fridge magnets, pounds 7.99

Make running out of milk and forgetting to buy the cat's food a thing of the past. Write your shopping list on the fridge. This magnetic kit comes with all manner of shopping suggestions and a few blank cards for delicacies undreamt of by the it's creators.

The General Trading Co, call 0171-730 0411

mad thing

The Little Voodoo Kit pounds 8.99

This malicious little outfit comes replete with book, doll and pins but the emphasis is less on the black arts than on new age "revenge therapy for the over-stressed". The temptation is to stab furiously at the intimate body parts of your hate object, but with this kit you can refine your skills to subtle and specific probings. Tips for cases of exreme tension include naming a bag of jelly babies after that special person and putting them through a mincer. Professional help's probably best at that point. Published by Boxtree at pounds 8.99

checkout news: shop with mother

Wilkinson discount chain is currently offering its customers the latest in supermarket fun for all the family- toddler-sized shopping trolleys. The discount retailer hopes that if children join their mothers strolling round the store with their own mini trolleys, they'll be less likely to get bored and scream that they want to go home. Of course cynics might argue that it's simply a way to ensure that parents are tantrumed into buying a child's shopping selection. Not so, according to Gordon Brown, managing director of Wilkinson, who claims the trolleys are part of a new concept of trading - the aim being to bring the whole family into stores. "Giving children their own trolleys is part of that process."

Wilkinson has already enriched the "whole family" shopping experience through the introduction of the kids trolleys at the bigger stores in its 220-plus chain. According to Mr Brown the response has been positive. But then Mr Brown has not met Joyce Knight a septugenarian, of Harlow, Essex. Mrs Knight's encounter with the trolleys at her local branch involved ten-year-olds racing in the aisles and a child bearing down on her at full pelt aiming for her bad leg.

"Children were dashing around the store with the trolleys. The assistant said they'd had no end of complaints but that head office were set on keeping them." she says.

English tourists may have seen child-sized shopping trolleys in some French supermarkets. The French children trot obediently alongside Maman, apparently untempted by adult legs. However, the more laissez-faire style of parenting favoured by Britons may result in a new variant of trolley rage if the idea catches on here.

But at the moment that seems unlikely. Tesco and Asda both tried out kids-trolleys in a handful of stores and rapidly withdrew them after customer complaints. The Tesco shoppers were alarmed by checkout tantrums when the children realised they were not going to be allowed to keep the goodies they'd selected. An Asda spokesman said parents didn't like the trolleys because children tended to wander off making it harder to keep an eye on them.

Over at Wilkinson, Mr Brown remains a mini trolley supporter. "No one has brought any adverse reactions to the trolleys to my attention. Childen certainly love them and there have been no accidents involving them. We want to make shopping at Wilkinson a life-time experience."

Jenny Knight

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