The invention did not catch on immediately. Men found them effeminate; women found them suggestive of a baby carriage. "I've pushed my last baby buggy," offended women informed him. After hiring several male and female models to push his new invention around his store and demonstrate their utility, as well as greeters to explain their use, shopping carts became extremely popular and Goldman became a multimillionaire by collecting a royalty on every shopping cart in the United States until his patents ran out.
Goldman was known as a philanthropist, particularly supporting medical causes. His older brother, Alfred, died of pneumonia shortly before penicillin became widely available. Goldman gave substantial funds to construct the Sylvan N. Goldman center of the Oklahoma Blood Institute.
Goldman was a first cousin (through his mother, Hortense Goldman, neé Dreyfus) to Broadway actress and parapsychology advocate, Lucille Kahn. However, Goldman strictly forbid his sons Alred and Monte both from becoming involved in show business or acting. Goldman invested his fortune in grocery stores throughout the US and real estate mostly in Oklahoma, and some in Puerto Rico. After his death, his sons had legal turmoil for decades, and both later committed suicide after lengthy involvement in managing the remnants of Goldman's 400 million dollar business empire of grocery stores and real estate.