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Consumers say they’ll ‘try on’ the retail fitting fee

New statistics show 1 in 4 local consumers support the idea of a ‘try-on’ retail fee, designed to steer consumers away from trying goods in-store before buying them online.

The statistics, released by Canstar Blue, oppose the widespread negative feeling ‘try on’ or fitting retail fees have attracted this year.

“Our survey showed a surprisingly high 25 percent of respondents support the concept as a way to deter consumers from trying on items and buying them later online for a cheaper price,” Canstar Blue Manager Rebecca Logan said.

Logan remarked that ‘try-on’ charges are confined to specialist retailers, supplying items like wedding dresses, ski suits and cameras.

Whilst this is the current situation, industry experts are predicting the trend may spread to other specialist retailers, but Logan says that if this is the case it may be more broadly accepted by the public than expected.

“The survey showed NSW residents were the most supportive of a ‘try-on’ fee at 29 percent of respondents, more than double that of ACT residents at 16 percent. Interestingly, it is also revealed males were more likely to support the charge (31 percent) than females (20 percent).” s

One retailer not concerned by online competitors is Kmart, which has just been named Australia’s leading department store for customer satisfaction in the Canstar Blue survey.

Kmart’s success in beating competitors like Myer, Target, David Jones and Big W came from as a result of its benchmark standards in overall satisfaction, prices and specials offered, tying first place for the categories of online store/catalogue, product range and service.

Logan said, “Kmart recently stated its everyday low pricing model continues to protect it against the online retail boom and the downturn in consumer sentiment and our survey shows it is right. Kmart cut its shelf prices by an average of 30 percent in the past 18months and this seems to have resonated with customers extremely well.”

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