Online shopping is a great way to avoid the stress that comes from finding gifts at Christmas. Photo by Evan Boudreau

Online shopping a growing, and convenient, stress buster

By 
  • December 13, 2012

TORONTO - If the thought of crowded malls full of screaming children and stressed adults has you putting off finding that last-minute Christmas gift, online shopping might be your saving grace.

“It’s certainly very convenient. You could be sitting at a café having a coffee and leisurely doing all of your shopping and spare yourself the madness of the malls,” said John Czuchta, manager of DiCarlo Religious Supply Centre. “We have enough on our plates this time of year with regards to stress to have it added to by the addition of going to a mall.”

DiCarlo is a family owned retailer of liturgical appointments and other religious items. In addition to its two brick-and-mortar storefronts — the first in Hamilton, Ont., and the second in Toronto — DiCarlo offers shoppers the opportunity to order items from its 580-page online catalogue.

“We have gifts that would suit any age group and any individual,” said Czuchta. “Everybody from a newborn infant to your elderly grandparents.”

Last year alone Canadians spent more than $15 billion online, according to Statistics Canada. With the average Canadian spending 45 hours a month online, according to Internet analytics company comScore, it shouldn’t be surprising that DiCarlo is cashing in.

“This is the way of the future,” said Czuchta. “Online is the way of the future. You cannot ignore that you have to be part of that.”

Czuchta suggested wall crucifixes, rosaries and children’s Bibles along with DVDs, CDs and general books on spirituality as possible gift ideas.

Provided the item is in stock — which Czuchta said most products are except for things like customized garments and statues — online shoppers can expect orders to arrive within five business days. That is unless you live in the Greater Toronto Area.

“If the item was in stock you’d have it in probably two to three business days if not sooner,” said Czuchta. “If it is a rosary, a DVD or a wall crucifix, these are items that are usually in stock.”

He did point out that for a purchase to meet this timeline customers must use a credit card to pay. For those still unsure about using a credit card online, DiCarlo does offer a mail-in option. However, payment must be received and cleared before shipping.
While religious gifts and supplies may be a niche market, DiCarlo isn’t the only religious retailer in Toronto tapping into the online market. Broughton’s Church Supplies, Religious Books & Gifts, Joseph’s Inspirational Services and Catholic Chapter House all offer online stores on their web sites.

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