Stores could introduce "fitting fees" because increasing
numbers of people are trying on their clothes then looking
for something cheaper online.
Sports shoes are one of the most popular items to buy online
because they're often cheaper, says the New Zealand
Chief executive John Albertson said many retailers had
noticed the practice of trying without buying.
"If it happens to any extent, it's wrong because you're
crossing that line," he said.
"You're getting somebody to put a lot of work and effort into
something and they let you try something on and then you buy
somewhere else. There's a moral question about that."
And while Mr Albertson said he wouldn't advocate fitting
fees, he can understand why retailers would charge them.
"I think it would very much be a last resort. If you have
somebody in your store, you have the opportunity to get a
About a billion dollars a year was spent through overseas
Mr Albertson said that when people bought from overseas
sites, they lost the protection of the Consumer Guarantees
Rebel Sport's managing director Rod Duke said he had no doubt
that people were trying on goods in their stores before
buying online but it wasn't affecting the business.
Mr Duke said he could imagine some retailers contemplating
introducing fitting fees, but rejected the policy himself. "I
would never, ever, ever contemplate that."
Eleisha Balmer, spokeswoman for Kiwi label Ruby, said more
than 50 per cent of people who walked through its doors had
seen the clothes online - on blogs or social media - and went
to the stores to try them on and buy them there.
Rumours in the Australian retail industry that companies
would introduce fitting fees had led people to thinking the
problem was worse than it is, said the Australian Centre for
Research by the centre found 4 per cent of shoppers tried in
store before buying cheaper online.
Most of those people - 61 per cent - did not intend to
purchase online at first, but found the product they were
looking for was not available in stores.
- Amelia Wade