We know times are hard — especially for people who work in traditional retail — but we had no idea just how bad things were until we read that some boutiques in Australia are charging customers a fee for trying on clothes.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the faltering global economy and the rise of Internet shopping have driven people out of brick-and-mortar stores to an alarmingly worrying extent. So, like shop owners all around the world, Australian retailers have had to come up with some pretty creative ways to stop people from shopping on the Internet if they want to stay in business. Some stores charge a fee to try on clothes, which they refund if those clothes are purchased in the same visit. It gives shoppers an incentive to actually buy things, but if you ask us, it doesn’t seem to give people any extra reason to come into stores in the first place — especially not if those people are only shopping casually.
Ultimately, the in-store fee is supposed to prevent shoppers from coming into a store, trying on a garment and going home to buy the right size online. But the fee isn’t universal, and if we were faced having to pay even the most nominal of taxes just to see if a shirt fit correctly, we’d just go find another shirt. These are hard times for us, too, you know.
But that’s just what we think. Is paying a fee to try something on crazy, or does it make sense to help traditional retail stay afloat for now?