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$5 'Just Looking' Fee Instituted By Australian Grocery Store (PHOTO)

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An Australian retailer has a simple message for people who just want to look around: pay up or get out.

A specialty grocery store in Brisbane, Australia, began charging its customers a $5 "just looking" fee in February, Consumerist reports. The policy is intended to curb the "high volume of people who use this store as a reference point and then purchase goods elsewhere," reads the sign posted outside the store and now uploaded to Reddit.

Scroll down to see the sign

According to photos shared with the Reddit thread, the Australian store with the questionable policy appears to be a gluten-free food shop called Celiac Supplies. The Huffington Post has reached out to Celiac Supplies with a request for comment.

Although the store claims on its sign that its prices are "almost the same as the other stores," many brick-and-mortar shops are having a hard time competing with prices online. A January study from International Business Machines Corp. revealed that close to 50 percent of online purchases were initially browsed in stores by customers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Another study in February found that big box retailers like Bed Bath and Beyond, PetSmart and Toys ‘R’ Us stand to lose the most from "showroomers" who come to the store to try out a product but then purchase the item on Amazon, The New York Times reports. Stores like Best Buy and Target have responded to the increased competition online with permanent price-matching guarantees, according to Bloomberg.

To be fair, Celiac Supplies promises that it will return the $5 to customers who eventually purchase something, but sneaky showroomers will still go home empty handed -- literally.

(h/t Gawker)

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