Georgina, the owner of the Coorparoo store in Brisbane’s South, put the notice in the front window of her shop warning shoppers if they come in and leave with nothing they will be charged the $5 browsing fee.
Georgina defended her actions on national radio, saying that would-be customers were coming in, getting advice and then leaving to buy the products they had been advised on for cheaper prices at supermarkets or on the internet.
The executive director of the Australia Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman has condemned the fee, saying that it will only serve to further harm Celiac Supplies business.
“You are missing the opportunity for the browsing customer to actually buy from you.”
The real problem here is not the $5 browsing fee (although surely having to eat gluten free things is punishment enough) but it’s the fact that the store itself is called Celiac and not Coeliac Supplies.
Correct spelling and grammar in and of themselves cost nothing and I for one would be much more inclined to buy my bland, soul-destroying gluten free treats at a store where the name of my affliction was properly spelled. Brisbane is not in the United States of America (believe it or not) and thusly the o in Coeliac disease is mandatory.
Besides, what period of time constitutes a browse? If I’m being charged $5 just for popping my head in the door the same as I am for wandering every fridge and aisle in the store than I’m going to knuckle down and seriously waste some people’s time. Really get my money’s worth!
But when you’re the only game in town, you can really do what you want, I suppose.