Oz retailers fight online rivals with ‘try-on’ chargesApril 11th, 2011 - 6:27 pm ICT by ANI
Melbourne, Apr 11 (ANI): Shop operators in Australia have come up with a smart tactic to stop shoppers who use their changing rooms to try on garments that they then buy online.
Customers at some ski shops are being slugged a 50 dollars “fitting fee” to try on ski boots, reports News.com.au.
The charge is refunded if they buy a pair of ski boots in-store, in a trend likely to be mimicked by other specialist retailers hard-hit by Internet discounting.
“Bricks and mortar” retailers want the Federal Government to abolish a tax break for overseas retailers, who do not have to pay the 10 per cent goods and services tax or import duties of 10 to 15 per cent on items costing less than 1000 dollars.
Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten told a fashion importer this week that traditional retailers still have the advantage of customer service.
“Competition is about more than just the price,” Shorten wrote in a letter to International Fashion Group managing director David Mendels.
“Consumers might be able to find something cheaper online, but they won’t have access to personal service or advice.
“The fact is that local ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers still have many competitive advantages over online retailers”.
The minister’s response has infuriated Mendels, who yesterday revealed his turnover had crashed 25 per cent as shoppers shunned Australian boutiques to buy tax-free designer jeans directly from the US. (ANI)
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