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Gluten-free Specialty Store Charges Five Bucks For Looking
Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. His poems, essays and photographs have appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate among others.
He is a member of both the National Writers Union, the International Federation of Journalists, and covers San Francisco Health News for Examiner.com.View all articles by Jefferson Adams
Celiac.com 05/03/2013 - Would you fork over five dollars just for browsing in a store?
More and more brick and mortar stores are fighting against a practice called 'showrooming,' where consumers visit a store to view an item in person before buying it online. Charging a fee to visitors who do not buy anything is one new strategy in that fight.
Adelaidenow.com.au reports that Brisbane-based Celiac Supplies, a gluten-free specialty food store in Australia, recently announced that it will charge customers $5 for browsing. The money will be refunded when the customers purchase an item.
In an article that appeared on the Consumerist.com website, the store-owner, who gave her name only as Georgina, says that she implemented the fee to curb “showrooming.” Her store has seen a "high volume of people who use this store as a reference and then purchase goods elsewhere," according to a note, a photo of which appeared on Reddit.com
Georgina's note adds that the showroomers she complains about "are unaware our prices are almost the same as the other stores plus we have products simply not available anywhere else.”
The note closes by saying that the $5 fee “is in line with many other clothing, shoe, and electronic stores" that also face the same problem.
Georgina told the website that she spent hours giving advice to as many as 60 people per week, who would go into the store, ask questions, and then leave without buying anything.
“I’ve had a gut full of working and not getting paid,” Georgina was quoted as saying. “I’m not here to dispense a charity service for Coles and Woolworths to make more money.”
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