Shoppers Drug Mart's national survey reveals 51% of Canadians want romantic dinners and movie dates for Valentine's Day, and gift cards are as popular as chocolates

TORONTO, Feb. 8, 2013 /CNW/ - Romantic dinners and date nights top the wish lists of Canadian men and women, according to a recent Shoppers Drug Mart poll that delved into the Valentine's Day shopping habits of Canadians. The national survey also revealed that gift cards are popular, with survey respondents preferring to receive gift cards as often as the traditional Valentine's Day gift of candy or chocolates.

The online survey, conducted by Shoppers Drug Mart in January 2013, asked Canadians who are married, common law or dating about their Valentine's Day wish list and shopping habits. The results indicate that Canadians are feeling generous -- and romantic -- for Valentine's Day this year. A majority of respondents (90%) indicated they will be purchasing a gift for their spouse or date, while one in three did not purchase a Valentine's Day gift the previous year. More than half of those who plan to purchase a gift this year say they will opt for a 'romantic dinner at a restaurant' or 'date night with dinner and a movie'.

The survey also asked Canadians what's on their gift wish list this Valentine's Day. While romantic dinners and date nights were the most popular choices (51% of respondents), 11% said they prefer to receive a gift card, almost on par with sweet treats like chocolates and candy (12%).

"Our survey indicates that retail gift cards have secured their place on the wish lists of Canadians, and not just for Christmas," says Tammy Smitham, Vice President, Communications & Corporate Affairs, Shoppers Drug Mart. "A gift card can take the stress out trying to find the perfect Valentine's Day gift, and the wide selection at Shoppers Drug Mart includes restaurant gift cards, which was the number one gift card preference in our national survey." After restaurants, gift cards from Shoppers Drug Mart and Tim Horton's rounded out the top three picks from those respondents who said they want to receive a gift card.

When it comes to gift shopping, the survey showed that most people tend to wait rather than plan in advance. Of those who purchased a gift for their special someone last year, a majority (54%) said they waited until a few days before or until Valentine's Day itself. This shopping tactic was more popular among men (58%) than women (49%).

Of those polled, almost one in five (18%) said they would turn to Shoppers Drug Mart / Pharmaprix when looking for a last-minute gift. Canadians living in Ontario are the most likely to buy their last-minute gift from Shoppers Drug Mart (27%), while those in Quebec are more likely to visit a boutique for a last-minute shopping trip (18%).

Besides their sweetie, one in three (33%) Canadians polled said they will also buy a Valentine's Day gift for others. Who else are they treating this Valentine's Day? Children top the list, with 32% of female respondents saying they will purchase gifts for their kids. Also in line for a Valentine's Day gift are moms, dads, friends and kids' teachers.

Survey respondents were also asked about their feelings about Shoppers Optimum. Among Shoppers Optimum members, one in four men and women polled across Canada said they love Shoppers Optimum more than visits from their mothers-in-law. Over one in four of respondents claim to love Shoppers Optimum even more than reality TV (28%) and almost 1 in 5 say they love Optimum more than Facebook (19%) and texting (18%). (#ILoveOptimum)

From January 15 to 16, 2013, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,002 Canadian adults who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/-3.02%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender, region and education according to the most recent census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation
Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec).  With 1,240 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada.  The Company also licenses or owns 55 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale.  As well, the Company owns and operates 62 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services.  In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities.

For more information, visit www.shoppersdrugmart.ca.

SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

Image with caption: "Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix offers a wide range of gift ideas in store for Valentine's Day, including fragrances, chocolates and gift cards. In a recent Shoppers Drug Mart survey, 1 in 10 Canadians said they would prefer to receive a gift card as a Valentine's Day gift. (CNW Group/Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130208_C4123_PHOTO_EN_23437.jpg

Image with caption: "Canada's newest private label brand sweetens store shelves across the country just in time for Valentine's Day gifting. Carnaby Sweet, from Shoppers Drug Mart, offers a delicious range of classic favourite treats like jelly beans, chocolates and jujubes for indulging someone special. (CNW Group/Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130208_C4123_PHOTO_EN_23434.jpg

Image with caption: "One in four Optimum members polled across Canada said they love Optimum more than visits from their mothers-in-law, while 28% love Optimum more than reality TV, and one in five love Optimum more than Facebook or texting. With 10 million members, Shoppers/Pharmaprix Optimum is one of Canada's most popular retail loyalty programs. (CNW Group/Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130208_C4123_PHOTO_EN_23435.jpg

Image with caption: "With 1,240 stores across Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix is a convenient place to pick up a Valentine's Day gift, even at the last minute. The range of gift ideas includes fragrances, beauty sets, candy and chocolates, plus a wide selection of retail and restaurant gift cards. (CNW Group/Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130208_C4123_PHOTO_EN_23436.jpg




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