A BRISBANE specialty grocery store owner is charging customers to browse after becoming fed up with people who enquire but don't buy. A poster telling customers they'll be charged $5 for browsing if they don't purchase anything has been put up at Celiac Supplies in the suburb of Coorparoo.Owner of the gluten free produce store, Georgina, says she resorted to putting up the sign after spending hours each week giving advice to people who leave empty-handed.About 60 people a week would go into the store, ask questions and then buy the same or similar product at a supermarket chain or online.
"I've had a gut full of working and not getting paid," Georgina, who didn't want her surname published, told AAP."I'm not here to dispense a charity service for Coles and Woolworths to make more money.She has became frustrated as her prices often match that of the supermarkets but people still go elsewhere as they are under the impression it will be cheaper.
She says the sign has turned some people away but others are more sympathetic and pay up."I can tell straight away who are the rat bags who are going to come in here and pick my brain and disappear," she said.Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman says charging customers to browse will likely turn people away.
He says a few stores in Queensland are charging to try on shoes or clothing but this is the first time he's heard of a browsing charge.Mr Zimmerman says to be competitive, smaller stores should emphasise what they offer that other stores don't and focus on providing great customer service."If I walked into the store and was told I was going to be charged to browse my immediate reaction would be to leave," he said. You are missing the opportunity for the browsing customer to actually buy from you."
If you buy anything then you get a $5 credit on what ever you buy.
What are your thoughts on this? Fair? Outrages? Would you ever go to this store? (if it was in the US of coarse)
Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:52 AM on Mar. 26, 2013
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Answer by QuinnMae at 11:37 AM on Mar. 26, 2013