Dating Trend Alert - Shopping Night For Singles

Dating Trend Alert: Shopping Night For Singles

Look what's happening in Europe: There's a way to find love (along with paper towels and cereals) as you push your cart through the store aisles...

By Nicci Micco
Too many errands, too little time to date? If you can relate, then you'll love this idea that many of Wal-Mart's German stores have put into practice: The retail giant has been playing Cupid to uncoupled customers with their Friday-night "Singles Shopping" events. Romantically unattached customers who swing by between 6 and 8 P.M. are given a red bow for their cart (it indicates you're single and there to mingle); some locations even offer up a glass of champagne—or a rose to present to that eye-catching "item" you just gotta have. "Flirt points"—stations where you can taste romance-themed products like chocolates and wines-throughout the store make striking up a conversation with that cutie in the housewares section even easier.

The Friday-night events-masterminded by two of Wal-Mart's German sales associates who overheard a female customer complaining that it was impossible to meet single men. About 400 love- and bargain-hunters each week, mostly busy single parents who welcome the chance to combine shopping and socializing, says Amy Wyatt, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart's international operations. And true love has indeed been found amid the shopping carts: The singles nights have led to several marriages, says Wyatt, and one grateful couple even invited Wal-Mart sales associates to watch them say "I do."

Interested in shopping your way to a similarly happy ending? Be patient: While Wal-Mart stores in Britain, Puerto Rico and South Korea have also started singles' nights, the craze hasn't hit America yet. The U.S. division is looking into it, says Wyatt—so keep checking your circulars; the trend could arrive soon.

Nicci Micco, a contributing editor for Self magazine, lives in Burlington, Vermont. She thinks sipping champagne while shopping is a marvelous idea for anyone.
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