Imagine walking into a store, not to purchase anything, but to browse for future purchases or to just pass the time. Then imagine being in said store and being told that you owe a $5 “just looking” fee.
That’s exactly what Celiac Supplies, a gluten free grocery store in Brisbane, Australia, intends to do to combat shoppers who browse but don’t buy.
“As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee for ‘just looking,’” the sign reads. “The $5 fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.”
Why implement a policy that will obviously be unpopular among customers? Celiac Supplies goes on to explain that the new policy is meant to fight individuals who “use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere.”
“This policy is in line with many other clothing, shoe and electronic stores who are also facing the same issue,” the sign concludes.
The issue that the Australian gluten free grocery store is facing is not one that hasn’t touched American business as well. It’s just that, instead of passing the burden onto consumers, stores like Best Buy and Target adapted to stay competitive in the marketplace.
“Target and Best Buy were likewise stung by shoppers who came in, tried out their products and then went home to buy on Amazon,” Daily Finance points out. “But instead of banning phones or trying to charge an entrance fee, they instead extended their price-matching policy to Amazon and other online retailers.”