While some bricks-and-mortar chains are trying to curb showrooming — using a retailer to check out an item in person before buying it online — with price-matching or store-exclusive brands, one business has come up with a possible solution… charging a $5 fee for shopping without buying.
According to the person who posted the above photo on Reddit, this sign was spotted on the door to specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia. Another Reddit contributor also posted photos of the store and the sign this weekend.
Reads the sign:
As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”
The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.
Why has this come about?
There has been high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere. These people are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.
This policy is line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue.
Daily Finance’s Matt Brownell calls this policy, “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.”
We couldn’t agree more. If customers aren’t buying, the seller needs to figure out why and adapt accordingly. If this store’s prices are truly the best, then maybe it should be offering a price-match guarantee. If it truly offers products that aren’t available elsewhere, then how are these showrooming shoppers buying these items from someone else? Perhaps people are just curious and want to see the prices and have no intention of buying anything anywhere? Think of how many times you’ve looked at Amazon just out of curiosity. Window-shoppers are part of the retail equation; it’s up to the retailer to either ignore them or turn them from looky-loos into bona fide buyers.