By Tracey Lomrantz, Glamour magazine
Remember the recent report that fitting rooms are about to get a whole slew of new bells and whistles, from six different kinds of ambient lighting to TVs tuned to sports for waiting boyfriends? Well dolls, those aren't the only new features they'll come with--in Australia, the process of trying on clothes now ends, in some cases, with a tab!
In what may be the craziest bit of retail news I've ever read, traditional boutiques down under are trying to compete with online stores...by charging their customers to try on clothes. According to this story in the Sydney Morning Herald (by way of Fashion Etc), "Retailers have resorted to charging try-on fees in store, which are refunded upon purchase, to stop consumers heading online to search for the same item at a lower price. Besieged by the new world of e-commerce, it is no longer enough for traditional bricks-and-mortar stores to fill their racks and then wait for the customers to roll in."
Call me crazy, but I always thought one of the major perks of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store was, um, service--y'know, that old-fashioned concept of having someone to find your sizes, help you with cumbersome zippers, give input on accessory choices--and the thought of being asked for fork over actual cash just to slip into some garments before committing to purchasing them sounds like the absolute antithesis of that. Fashion Etc. points out that "Critics claim [try-on fees] punish shoppers who can't find the right fit or don't love the way the garment looks on them," and they're absolutely right (not to mention that the fees will alienate an entire group of shoppers who sometimes buy something on a whim, just because they've wandered past a store and fallen in love with something that wasn't necessarily on their buying agenda).
What do you dolls make of this silly policy? Can you believe stores think it will actually help them make money? Do you ever try stuff on in a store and then seek it out online at a lower price? Would this dissuade you from doing that? Discuss!
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Photo Credit: Condé Nast Digital Studio