Feature

‘Fit-lifters’ give showrooming shoe browsers a bad name

via powerretail.com.au

2004479090010American bricks and mortar shoe retailers are crying foul over showrooming customers who walk into store to find their best fit, before purchasing online.

First we had showrooming. More recently, a study out of the US coined the term webrooming. Now the realm of niche retail jargon has been taken a step further with ‘fit-lifting’ – the act of using a physical apparel or footwear store to discover your ideal size, before purchasing a like garment online.

The practice is no doubt common, however it is beginning to cause serious concern for US footwear retailers, says the Financial Times.

“You’ve come in and stolen that service basically,” said Richard Napier of Idaho Mountain Trading. “It’s not that the salesperson didn’t have somebody else to serve who would have bought something. So not only have you stolen the wages. I have a loss of revenue that he would have collected from another customer.”

The phenomenon has been so bad for business in Australia that several companies are already reportedly taking action, such as the case of the ski-hire store that charges for fittings, or the health foods store that charges a ‘browsing fee’ to ward off tyre kickers.

In the US, however, the problem is compounded due to the rigid social code embedded into retail culture. The American retailers would like to do something about ‘fit-lifters’, but as yet they simply can’t conceive of what to do about them.

Gary Weiner, Owner of Saxon Shoes in Virginia and board member of the National Shoe Retailers Association, was also interviewed by the Financial Times. Weiner attempted an explanation of the situation.

To read more, visit powerretail.com.au

Have you experienced `fit-lifters’ in your footwear shop? What have you done in-store to combat showrooming?

We’d love to hear from you.

Email me direct; sacha.strebe@aec.net.au

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