All shopping and no play for Ottawa men

Imagine being dragged to the mall for Christmas shopping and, while your wife hits the stores, getting to play video games, watch sports, or practice your golf swing — for free.

Pickering Town Centre, east of Toronto, has created this pipe dream: A 5,000-sq.-ft. “men’s den” for guys 18 and older.

Ottawa men hoping for a similar facility here shouldn’t hold their breath.

“We like our men to shop,” said Rideau Centre general manager Cindy VanBuskirk.

The Pickering lounge opened Thursday and runs until Christmas Eve.

“The idea came from us observing men and women and their shopping patterns,” said marketing director Lorna Murphy, adding donations are being collected for Prostate Cancer Canada.

Murphy said it’s also a program benefiting women.

“They’re happy that their men have a place to go,” she said.

There is one Christmas shopping service Ottawa men can turn to: The E-Style lounge at Bayshore Shopping Centre opened last month and has been a hit, said general manager Denis Pelletier.

“Often, it’s guys who are in a panic the week before, hoping to find the right gift, who take advantage of the service,” said Pelletier.

Shopping experts are on call, tablets in hand, helping customers find gifts using a software application.

“Based on how much you want to spend, who you want to buy it for … we can throw out a whole bunch of ideas,” said Pelletier.

The lounge is in front of Zellers and could become a permanent year-round addition to the mall.


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