There seems to be two ways that customers go about purchasing items, there is the traditional in store purchase and the more modern day online buying. Now it’s not against the law to actually combine the two, in fact, it is somewhat smart.
It’s known as “Showrooming” maybe you heard of it, or maybe you do it yourself. It is when a customer looks at items in a physical store then makes the purchase online. A store in Australia is actually making a customer pay $5 to just look around, would you feel comfortable shopping there?
A local grocery store in Brisbane, Australia that specializes in Gluten Free, Wheat Free and Dairy Free products has just issued a $5 coverage charge to all customers looking around the store.
Here is what the sign outside of the store reads;
“Dear Customers, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “Just Looking”,the $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased”.
The store states that the reason they are starting to charge it’s customers just for looking is mainly because, there have reportedly been a lot of people “Showrooming” with their store being the physical store customers use.
The store also boasts a little bit explaining that they do not understand why people would showroom, when their store offers products not available anywhere else.
If this new fee charge sounds crazy to you, you are certainly not alone on this issue as several Business professionals, and everyday customers weigh in on this issue.
“This has to be the most misguided strategy we’ve seen for dealing with showrooming, the goal of any retailer should be to impress customers with competitive pricing and great customer service, not treat their customers with suspicion and hostility from the moment they walk in the door,” Matt Brownell writer for the Daily Finance said.
Brown is certainly correct on how retailers should try to impress customers with competitive pricing, great customer service, perhaps a good example would be Target and Best Buy. When both stores were dealing with the same kind of issue with “Showrooming” instead of charging its customers for looking around the store, the companies simply extended their price-matching policy to Amazon and other online retailers.
That does not seem to be the direction for this Australian store, but some commenter’s believe it is a receipt for disaster.
“This store seems desperate to go out of business,” An everyday shopper said.
“If it was me, I’d say ‘Screw you.’ and not give them a dime, walk out and refuse them any future business, they are asking to go out of business,” explained a commuter.
Chris Morran a writer for the Consumerist mentioned that if customers are not buying things from this store, the store needs to figure out why and adapt accordingly, he thinks a price-match policy is much needed for this store.
So what is your take on the fee charge to just look around a store, do you like it, hate it?
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