Where to get holiday + Black Friday tech in Calgary

I got a special sneak preview of two things I think readers of the blog will enjoy. One is an exciting new place to shop for tech and gadgets. The other is a heads up on some sweet tech deals for Black Friday. And I mean seriously good… skip ahead for a peek at what you’ll want to rush out and get for this holiday season!

London Drugs, who I’ve partnered with on this blog post, has opened a new store in the northwest, but this isn’t just any store. Bigger, and more expansive with a massive new redesigned tech/camera/computer area, the new store has lots more ways to get your hands on the gear and gadgets you really want to see.

Brand new London Drugs location in Sage Hill NW

In the new store in the Sage Hill neighbourhood (50 Sage Hill Plaza NW; pro tip, use this dropped pin to navigate to it, as it’s so brand new even google maps don’t know about it yet!) the tech area has a much larger footprint, and is no longer separated from the rest of the store. The result is a brighter and more relaxed shopping experience. And lots more stuff to see.

img_7373Get hands-on with new & popular technology

img_7399-1There’s much more to get your hands on, too. Products like Fitbits, smart watches, and a host of camera gear, speakers and accessories are out of their packages where you can see, touch and sample them. While as a tech blogger and product tester I get to sample gear like this before I make a decision to buy, most people don’t, so I think it’s a big deal when you can get hands-on when making your buying decisions.

I got an up close look at the Canon Selphy photo printer which I’ve been eager to test and review. The Selphy prints 4×6 pics directly from your phone and looks like a lot of fun for teens in particular for the holidays. As an aside, it’s going to come down in price as part of their Black Friday Sale running until November 30th.

Print your own Christmas ornaments

There’s an entire area set aside for customers to sample all the cool stuff you can do with printed photos. The Keepsakes area is much more than mugs and calendars printed with school photos; of particular interest to me are customizable Christmas photo ornaments that I think would make great travel keepsakes. (But that may be another story!)

Get help where you need it

The openness of the store extends to the customer service experience too. On the day of my sneak preview, I noticed no longer are the staff sheltered behind imposing counters. Now they’re out and about on the floor (London Drugs hired 45 people for the new store, a welcome addition to the job market in Calgary), ready and willing to help. The service is one of the reasons I like to shop at London Drugs; I find the folks, especially in the computer/tech/camera area very knowledgeable about products and features, and they’re happy to share tips or recommendations.

New Learning Lab opensimg_7383

Speaking of sharing, adjacent to the computer/tech section of the store is another new feature; the Learning Lab.

London Drugs has set aside a large glass-walled room for seminars or workshops, meaning there’s now a dedicated place to learn. London Drugs tells me it will also be open to community groups to use too.

Bigger, more beautiful Cosmetics & Pharmacy

img_7366While the tech area was my main focus, I got to look around the rest of the new Sage Hill store too. The cosmetics area has also been totally redesigned, with wider, brighter aisles, and more of a focus on exclusive cosmetics brands London Drugs carries, like Makeup Revolution and Kiss. The store also carries one of the largest sections of one of my favourite cosmetics brands, NYX.

Even with all the other department improvements, the Pharmacy is still the heart of the new store, with a much larger and nicer area complete with private service kiosks and a private room for things like consultations, vaccinations, shots or educational uses.

img_7363

New loyalty & rewards tailored for you; earn cash or perks

London Drugs has also announced a new customer rewards and loyalty program called LDExtras. img_7386At a kiosk in the store (or online at LDExtras.com) you sign up in minutes and start earning, but don’t think it’s all about points. With LDExtras you earn ‘visits’ by spending $10 or more when you come to the store.

When you first sign up you earn visits right away, and rewards start to kick in after 5 visits; things like free computer virus checks, or free camera firmware upgrades. After 10 visits, you’ll earn things like a $5 gift card, or free gift wrapping; perfect for the coming holiday season!

Rewards are tailored to each customer, so you get more of the things you like and are already buying.

Black Friday Deals 

In Canada, everybody says ‘sale’ and no one really means it – UNTIL NOW

img_1693I don’t know if I’m supposed to give you a heads up quite this early, but here goes; there’s going to be some pretty great deals at London Drugs for Black Friday 2017. These are my personal picks for products I want to get, both because they’re top notch and because the prices are kinda insane! Watch for them starting November 25, 2017.

Fitbit Alta
I think everyone I know has a gift recipient on their list who wants a Fitbit. Starting November 25, Fitbit Alta (Read my review of the Alta here; it’s my own personal pick for an activity tracker) is on sale for $129.95, down from $169.99

LG 55” OLED 4K TVimg_7393-1
I’ve written plenty about the amazing high resolution technology of 4K TVs. If you’ve been waiting for the right deal to upgrade from your old HD set, this is the one not to miss. LG’s 55” set is almost half price for Black Friday: it’s $2299.99, down from $3999.98.

KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer
kitchenaid-professional-600-stand-mixerIf you’ve ever wanted one of these RUN to London Drugs on Black Friday. The KitchenAid Professional 600 stand mixer is $295.99, down from $749.99. That’s $450 or basically 60% off!

Philips Hue Light Strips, which I’ve written about, and the Philips Hue Starter Kit are also both on sale. See details here.

Indeed, when I double checked these numbers, London Drugs tells me this is no half-hearted sale where some employee with a black marker makes minor price drops, these are truly some of the lowest prices of the entire year, and lower than even some Americans (inventors of Black Friday) are paying.

Be sure to check out the new London Drugs Sage Hill location, and watch for some of the deals for Black Friday.

This post has been sponsored by London Drugs.

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