My last-minute shopping frenzy

ALONG with the many gifts that people get to buy at the store, safety precautions are also needed to avoid the spread of the virus.

Some people know me to be a speed shopper –- I enter a store for a quick browse and, if I am merely looking and did not go with a specific item in mind, sometimes end up with a purchase that took all of 10 minutes flat.

Right. Maybe that is an exaggeration, but my point is I do not like to spend hours on end for every shopping trip. I prefer to get the buying done and find a cozy place where I can have some coffee and conversation.

Pre-pandemic, my husband and I would have our shopping done by the first week of December. Our list is quite long –- our families, friends, relatives, his staff, my staff, our staff, his clients, my colleagues and so on.

Anyway, with all the fears and restrictions that the coronavirus pandemic wrought, we put off our shopping until we realized, with blood running from our faces (well, okay, only mine), that Christmas was only days away!

Even if we were willing to brave the outside world and go to the sanitized and health-protocoled malls, it was time that was our enemy in this case.

So I listened to some friends’ advice and dialed #143SM (or #14376), and prepared to virtually meet my own personal shopper.

I spoke with a total of two very courteous ladies last Saturday. The first one explained to me the process after I dialed #143SM. She asked me what was the nearest SM mall in our area, and after I specified it, she told me to wait for a Viber message from a personal shopper (PS) based in the mall of my choice.

TRENDY and cute necessities that are perfect for presents can be easily found while window shopping.


My PS was just as pleasant and accommodating, a big deal for a technically-challenged tita such as I.

She took me through several gift set choices for men and women, answered my questions promptly, and handled my indecision (a rarity for me, really) with patience.

I had to end the conversation as I had to count the number of people I still had to buy presents for, and decide on whether to have them delivered to all the recipients’ homes.

The process felt so new to me who likes to shop like a dynamo, always running after time.

Though I like to select stuff on the spot, after I had inspected them, I went ahead and left most of it to my personal shopper, who gave me loads of choices for men, women and kids.

PERSONAL shoppers takes SM users through various gift sets to choose gifts from.

My packages would have likely been delivered as you read this, and I am thanking heavens that I was able to check off plenty of names from our loooong gift list –- without having to spend hours scouring the department store and lining up for payment!

My advice to those also in a state of panic by this time over their gift lists –- visit the online store and prepare your list ahead. The operator will note down your choices and give this to the personal shopper at your preferred branch. By the time you get to your personal shopper, you would make the process even more simple and convenient than it already is.

My personal shopper, Misthey Ann, assisted me by sending photos of the options of the gift sets I had in mind. She also transacted the bill through my chosen mode of payment, and sent it all off to me in a jiffy.

SM’s Call to Deliver is the answer to those who are either too scared to leave the safety of their homes or those, like me, find themselves too busy to deal with the shopping list early enough.

The delivery fee for the products starts at P100.

Though the holiday celebrations may be different this year, the excitement we feel during this season cannot be abated by restriction or pandemic fears. Fortunately, favorite shopping destinations like the SM malls have given us this gift of convenience just when we needed it most.

SM Stores, through the use of personal shoppers, have given its consumers the gift of convenience amid the threat of the virus.

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