In an effort to stop “showrooming,” a grocery store in Brisbane, Australia began charging people a fee of $5 AUD ($5.25 US) just for looking. Note, showrooming is a term used for shoppers who visit a store with no intention of actually buying anything, instead using the opportunity to view products in person, then leaving and purchasing the items online at a cheaper price.
Upon making a purchase, Celiac Supplies (the gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free joint) states that patrons will be refunded the $5 fee.
The owner of the Brisbane store, Georgina, lamented that after spending hours each week giving advice to people, just to see them leave empty-handed, she put up the sign announcing the new policy.
“I can tell straight away who are the rat bags who are going to come in here and pick my brain and disappear,” she told the Australian Associated Press. “I’m not here to dispense a charity service for [large supermarkets] to make more money.”
After Reddit user BarrettFox posted a photo (below) of Celiac Supplies’ new policy, some commentators scoffed at Georgina’s actions. One Redditor stating, “This store seems desperate to go out of business.”
It’s a bold move for a store wary of losing customers to the big dogs online. However, we’re not too sure how stoked people will be when finding out they have to deal with a cover charge every time they grab some gluten-free swag.