Members only? No, not the 1980′s fashion staple, but the recent trend in high end shop online furnishing and home stores to move from a traditional all-welcome, to members only, private shopping clubs that requires shoppers to register and sometimes pay a fee for the privilege of viewing the deeply discounted goods.
On the one hand, this undoubtedly cuts down on the lookey-loos, which I hear from friends who work in furniture stores is a major, time-wasting problem. Likewise, it certainly also fosters a sense of exclusivity that appeals to the posh(er) set.
On the other hand, of course, it seems anti-democratic, which is a sort of paltry complaint, especially, when it’s clear that some of the better shops give memberships away like candy, for example, it’s pretty easy to find a coupon to get a free £20 to spend at Achica, the British luxury retailer. (Perhaps that’s not as good as getting half price Sky broadband, but £20 is £20.)
This trend shows no signs of letting up, and if Achica’s success is any guide, it will be around a long time.