Showrooming Response Garners Store Owner Global—and Unwanted—Attention

March 28, 2013

An Australian specialty food store that has taken a stand on showrooming has landed itself in the international spotlight. Celiac Supplies, a gluten-free shop near Brisbane, generated global attention after a sign announcing a $5 “just looking” fee ended up posted on the social news and entertainment Website Reddit.

Outrage ruled the day on the Reddit forum dedicated to the topic but the practice of showrooming—shopping in a physical store to see products and buying them online instead—is a serious challenge for retailers to overcome. However, judging by the negative, rapid and global response to a fee levied by a small store in a small suburb of a midsize city on the other side of the world, a “just looking” fee might not be an optimal strategy.

The original Reddit post was submitted just two days ago. It was picked up by the Brisbane Times yesterday and has received attention around the world today, including on the Today Show and the Huffington Post.