There's a new way to shop at Shoppers Drug Mart this holiday season, as they've quietly expanded their online store with personal care products, baby supplies and even electronics.
2020 has changed retail for the foreseeable future, with more Canadians opting to shop online during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Statistics Canada, e-commerce sales skyrocketed between March and May earlier this year, with a record-setting $3.9 billion in online sales in May alone – a 99.3% increase compared to figures from February before widespread lockdowns took place across the country.
Shoppers Drug Mart was one of the longstanding holdouts of online shopping in Canada, but online retail isn't completely uncharted territory – the retailer has offered online shopping for several years through their Beauty Boutique and Wellwise brands, but these stores are limited to cosmetics and a specialized selection of healthcare products, respectively.
This new endeavour marks Shoppers' first foray into selling a wider selection of essentials including diapers, toothpaste, over-the-counter medication and consumer electronics like Nintendo Switch consoles and Apple AirPods. The store is split into five categories, with a catalogue of over 10,000 products as of October 19.
- Baby & Child (diapers, formula, toys)
- Beauty (cosmetics, fragrances, hair care)
- Electronics (headphones, smart home, video games)
- Health (medicine, protein, vitamins)
- Personal Care (bath products, feminine hygiene, oral care)
A dedicated Offers page is also available, which highlights any products on sale or with a PC Optimum bonus. The latter is especially notable for savvy shoppers and PC Optimum points hoarders, as Shoppers Drug Mart is one of the only retailers to offer discounts on products like video game consoles when redeeming PC Optimum points. The main problem in recent years has been in-store scarcity, as electronics are often minimally stocked or unavailable altogether at many Shoppers Drug Mart locations in metropolitan areas.
Online shopping should (in theory) take some guesswork out of electronics hunting, as stock is more accessible online and you can redeem PC Optimum points with online purchases.
It's unclear when Shoppers Drug Mart expanded their online store to include electronics and essentials, but we estimate it was in early-October based on a website snapshot from September 30 showing no electronics for sale and a RedFlagDeals forum thread from October 7 showcasing a PC Optimum event with electronics for sale. The chain had also offered online pre-orders for the first time for the upcoming PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S consoles in late-September.