Let's Discuss: Should Stores Charge a Fee for Just Browsing?
Showrooming: It's when a customer walks into a brick-and-mortar store, tries out a product, and then leaves and buys the item online. Since the intent of a showroomer is never to buy anything during said trip, the practice is really starting to annoy retail stores.
One merchant in Brisbane, Australia (which sells food and supplies to those with celiac disease) has finally had enough. Unhappy that customers to his store were showrooming, the owner has implemented a $5 fee for "just looking." If the customer ends up buying something, that $5 is reimbursed on their bill.
This is clearly not the best situation for all parties involved. Customers certainly don't want to lay out $5; and it's doubtful that the owner really wanted to put this policy into place had he not felt it was necessary for his business' survival. On Facebook, he explained, "I get some very sick people through the door, and all occupy 20 to 30 minutes, average, of time. Like anyone else, I would like to get paid for my work."
We want to know what you think! Can a small business owner be forgiven for such a practice because he's just trying to survive in the "buy everything on the Internet" world? What if a larger merchant were to attempt such a thing? How are stores supposed to combat showrooming? Sound off in the comments below!
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