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A Store With a Cover Charge?

Have you ever heard of the term “showrooming?”  That’s when you go to a store to see an item in person, but then you go order it online.  Apparently its a huge problem for stores… because you’re sucking up valuable employee time, handling their merchandise, etc…all without buying anything.  Read about a store in Australia that’s now charging a $5 “just looking” fee.. basically a cover charge to combat this.

Or maybe you’ve heard of those price comparison apps (you might even have one on your phone) that lets you take a picture of an item in a store…and see how much it costs at other stores or even online.  Well, I read a story in the Star this past Sunday about a Broad Ripple bookstore owner who says if she sees customers using apps like that, she asks them to shut it off and put their phone away.

I can’t tell you how much I hate both of these thing.

First of all…I do minimal online shopping.  I like the experience of going to a store, shopping, and supporting local businesses.  That being said…if a store had a cover charge, there is no way I’d shop there.

Wait.  I am a Costco member, but that feels different for some reason.

And if a shop keep asked me to stop using an app in their store, I’d be ticked.  I agree that stores should take steps to protect their business against online competition, but both of these are terrible options.

Your thoughts?

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