How often have you heard the words “Are you interested in anything?” to which you reply “No, just looking”. Well, in one retail outlet it now costs you to look.

Celiac Supplies in Brisbane is a specialty store selling gluten free and wheat free products and when the owner got sick and tired of people browsing then buying products elsewhere she imposed a $5 browsing fee.

This is what the owner said – “I’ve had a gutful of working and not getting paid. I’m not here to dispense a charity service for Coles and Woolworths to make more money.”

From a marketing point of view – a very bad decision. I can imagine myself…with limited knowledge of wheat free or gluten anything…needing time to familiarise myself with different products and maybe even going away to do some online research before making the eventual purchasing decision. Well, she has just lost my sale.

Retail sector spokesperson has responded with – “It’s using an elephant to crush a peanut. Ultimately, the fact is you want to draw people to your brand, why would you then send them away? The question to understand is why the customers are not buying. Instead of imposing a fee for browsing, the owner should be looking at her product pricing, customer service and marketing. You want to attract people to your brand, not turn them away, so look at advertising, branding, product niche and customer service. You also want to sell more to the ones you have, so look at your merchandise, staff knowledge, items for sale and survey your customers and find out what they like and don’t like.”

Source: Smartcompany