Australian Store To Charge For 'Just Looking'

The specialty food store in Brisbane says the fee will be returned at the cash register, after a purchase has been made.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now for our last word in business. And the word today is: showrooming.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is when you go look, look at an item in a store.

MONTAGNE: Yeah. You look around, check it out, and then go home and buy the item online.

GREENE: And this practice is making a lot of retailers mad. At a specialty food store in Brisbane, Australia, they're trying to do something about it. The store has put up a sign saying it will now charge a $5 fee for just looking.

MONTAGNE: The site does not say how that $5 fee will be collected. I mean, say something about it, David. If you don't reach for your wallet to buy something where is the opportunity for the store to get your fee?

GREENE: Good question.

MONTAGNE: OK. But the story does make it clear that paying customers need not fear. It says the fee will be returned at the cash register, if a purchase has been made. So, hey, maybe you can buy a $7 jar of jam and get that fee back.

GREENE: Or a pack of gum. Just a pack of gum.

(LAUGHTER)

GREENE: Or one gum ball.

MONTAGNE: They will only you money if they can't figure out how to collect it from the customers. So that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

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