Super-Shopper Tips for Staying Local This Holiday Season

What used to be the easiest errand just a year ago is now loaded with uncertainty.

Do I need to wear a mask to go in to buy something?
Can I walk right into the store or is there a limit on how many people can be inside at one time?
Wait, are they even open?

It’s true. Reduced hours and the many different policies and procedures that retailers have put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus are part of our new normal right now. But don’t let COVID put a damper on your holiday cheer. With the festive season just around the corner, here a few helpful tips to do your holiday shopping locally this year.

Call Ahead

With each retailer introducing their own health and safety measures, it can seem a tad overwhelming to stay on top of all the different business hours and procedures to follow. But if you call ahead—or visit your favourite shop’s social media accounts—you can quickly learn what rules to follow.

At Rannva Design, a downtown Iqaluit boutique where you can buy handmade sealskin products and a wide range of art products made by Nunavut artists, you can still drop in and shop in person during limited hours. But appointments are encouraged. Call ahead to book one.

Super-shopper tip: Mask up! Even though masks may not yet be mandatory inside every Nunavut business, save yourself a trip home by always travelling with a mask in your pocket.

Shop Online

Across Nunavut, many businesses were already set up for online sales before the COVID pandemic hit, selling their products on easy-to-use websites that allow you to now shop in a socially distant way. Ivalu, the popular gift shop that sells arts and crafts created by artists all over our territory, has a simple online ordering process. As do Hinaani Designs, the trendy clothing and apparel store that’s all the rage in Arviat, and Uasau Soap, which sells handcrafted soaps inspired by—and made from—the land in Iqaluit. 

Super-shopper tip: Variety is the spice of life. Purchase a limited edition ShopNU Local Gift Box online at for someone you love and give them a taste of home with a variety of unique and locally sourced items.

Beat The Rush

Do your best to take the stress out of shipping. If you are planning to send gifts to friends or family in other Nunavut communities—or to locations outside of the territory—be sure to send them out as early as you can, in case any mail backlogs develop due to COVID-19 orders.

Super-shopper tip: Pack snugly and save. When sending out gifts, try to pack them efficiently without leaving excess space in the package because you pay by size and weight.

Take a Break and Eat Out

Did you get it all done? All your presents are wrapped and under the tree? All of your cards are sent out? Congratulations! You deserve a treat. Dine out or order in tonight. Or maybe stop in for a pint of NU Brew and toast what’s sure to be a great, fun-filled holiday.

Super-shopper tip: Take a cab. Remember, if you decide to have a few, don’t drive home. Support another local business and take a taxi home.

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