Microsoft Canada

Microsoft Canada

December 04, 2006 09:00 ET

What Would you Choose: A Root Canal, Punch in the Nose or a Shopping Trip to the Mall

Survey Finds That 15% of Canadians Prefer the Pain

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 4, 2006) -

Attention: Lifestyle Editor, News Editor

When given a choice, 15% of Canadians said they would rather have a root-canal at the dentist or be punched in the nose than head to the mall this holiday season, according to the latest Canada Speaks survey presented by Sympatico / MSN. In addition, 17% said they would rather spend a weekend with their in-laws and 12% would prefer to complete their income tax return. The poll was conducted for Sympatico / MSN by Ipsos Reid.

"Canadians want shopping alternatives that help make the holidays simple, fun and more enjoyable. It's no surprise that 38% of Canadians are planning to do some of their holiday gift-buying online this year," says gift buying expert Wendy Davis of Zebrano life/style/solutions (www.Zebrano.com).

Wendy's company helps her corporate clients manage their busy households and the stress leading up to the holidays. Zembrano also buys gifts for celebrities attending the Toronto International Film Festival. She says her employees rely on the Internet everyday to research products and shop online for their clients.

"You don't have to spend a lot of money to create a 'wow' gift, but you have to take some time to research and put some thought into gift ideas. Instead of driving from store-to-store, we can compare multiple retailers in minutes. The time savings we gain from online shopping allows us to invest more time personalizing our gifts," says Davis. "We can avoid long-line ups and shop online from the comfort of our office."

Nearly 12% of Canadians shop online at work, according to the Canada Speaks survey. Those with household incomes of $60K or more are the most likely to shop online at work (20% vs. 7% among those with incomes of less than $60K).

Those with the highest income levels (37%) are the guiltiest culprits when it comes to re-gifting a holiday present, as are women (38% vs. 28% of men). Davis says the popularity of re-gifting reflects a lack of time, rather than a lack of compassion. In fact, four in 10 Canadians (38%) described themselves as a "last minute scrambler" when it comes to their holiday shopping.

The survey revealed that many Canadians had shopped online "in the nude" (9%) or in their "pyjamas" (33%). Of those who are planning to buy gifts online this year, 57% say it is because online shopping offers less hassle; 46% said it was easier to comparison shop; 54% were looking for the online deals; and 51% said they can avoid waiting in lines.

With this in mind, Davis has searched the Internet to find this year's hottest gift ideas. She says using one-stop shopping portals like Sympatico.MSN.ca Shopping (www.shopping.msn.ca) can make the process even easier by offering a single online destination where Canadians can easily access top online retailers, and avoid the stress of navigating a crowded mall. With one fell swoop, visitors can search and compare products from multiple vendors like Future Shop, Bose, Sony, Home Depot, Bell, Ice.com, Blue Nile, La Senza, LL Bean, Toys R Us and more. These great gift ideas can be purchased without leaving the comfort of your home:

Indulge them:

- One Carat Diamond 14K White Gold Circle Pendant: What girl can resist diamonds? This delicate white gold chain will soon be on the necks of fashionistas everywhere. Also consider classic pieces like two carat diamond stud earrings that are destined to become heirlooms if you really want to spoil her.

- HP Photosmart digital camera: Make sure you look hot in photos by giving the photographer in your life the new HP Photosmart digital camera. These cameras have a new slimming feature that can make anyone appear more slender-instantly. It's a girl's new best friend.

Spoil them:

- Bose Companion 5 multimedia speaker system: These premium computer speakers are not only stylish, but also deliver multi-channel surround sound without the clutter of five speakers. They are specifically designed for computer in mind and are perfect for the gamer or digital music lover in your life.

- 42" Panasonic Widescreen Plasma HDTV: A high-roller must-have this holiday season, this plasma HDTV produces true-to-life colour and creates images that are both visually appealing and capable of delivering tremendous emotional impact. For the ultimate gift package, combine Bell's ExpressVu service with its HDPVR receiver to get the full functionality of a Digital Video Recorder with the amazing picture and sound quality of HDTV.

Pamper them:

- The gift of time: Use the Internet to search for a personal chef or concierge service for that busy executive who is always on the go. Having someone take care of them will help ease their stressful life. Also consider hiring a dog walker or a yoga instructor for a private class to make life more convenient for them - you'll also free up more of their time to spend with you.

- La Senza At Home Collection Satin Comfort Pajama: What woman wouldn't love this elegant classic with its sophisticated look, button-front top and contrast piping.

Entertain them:

- The Dog Bone Personal Putting Green: A personal putting green for the golf lover in your life with over nine feet of club speed turf.

- Samsung a920 Limited Edition Cell Phone: The ultimate multimedia cell phone, the Samsung a920 limited edition features an MP3 player and the ability to download full-track digital music from Bell's catalogue of more than 750,000 songs. It's Bluetooth-compatible and includes a camcorder with movie light and an integrated camera with flash.

With Canada Speaks, Sympatico / MSN is listening to its readers' opinions in order to continue providing them with the information they care most about. Canada's most popular online destination with more than 19 million visitors per month, Sympatico.MSN.ca is the one online destination that provides the tools and information Canadian's need to connect with friends, family, and what's happening - in their community and around the world.

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted from November 10th to 13th, 2006 via a regionally representative online Canadian sample of 1240 adult Canadians. For this sample, results can be considered accurate 95% of the time with a 2.8% margin of error, of what it would have been had this entire population been surveyed.

About Sympatico / MSN

Sympatico.MSN.ca is Canada's most popular online destination with 19 million unique visitors experiencing its entertainment, information and communication services a month. The portal brings together Bell Sympatico's Web content and broadband services with MSN's popular Hotmail, Messenger and Search services. Bell Sympatico is Canada's leading ISP, while MSN Messenger is used by more Canadians than any other instant messaging and MSN Hotmail is the leading web-based email service. Sympatico.MSN.ca also delivers exclusive content to Sympatico High Speed Internet service subscribers, as well as value-added services such as MSN Premium.

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