I can understand retail locations trying to come up with anything they can to help fight the increasing showrooming phenomenon. Showrooming is the name given to the act of seeing customers come into a retail store to look at items and then leave to purchase the goods online at a lower price. This problem is common to all retailers including big stores such as Walmart and Target.
A common practice for consumers today is to go into a retail location where they can pick up an item they’re interested in, play with it, and see what it’s like. These people that often leave and go online to places like Amazon.com and others where they can order an item at a lower price without having to pay sales tax. Many retail stores, such as Target, are working with their suppliers to match online prices in their stores.
However, a brick-and-mortar store in Brisbane, Australia is taking a different tack. The store is reportedly some sort of specialty food store and has posted a sign that it will be charging five dollars per person to come into the store and “just look.” The store does note that the five dollar fee will be deducted when goods are purchased.
This seems like an incredibly ridiculous way to combat showrooming. This will certainly limit the number of consumers who walk into this specialty food store to see what the store offers and if they have anything that may be interested in. Very few people will be willing to pay five dollars to step foot into a store. The image included above is of the actual sign in the store window as it was originally posted on Reddit.