Vera Wang’s stores in Shanghai will no longer charge customers a 3,000 yuan fee just to try on dresses, after a concerted online uproar both in China and overseas.
Local and global media had criticized the surcharge as being discriminatory because it was applied only in China, at the company’s Shanghai store, which staged a “soft opening” in January as the company’s first bridal salon in the country, a vast potential market as the numbers of wealthy grow.
A Vera Wang spokeswoman told Reuters that the 3,000 yuan ($480) charge was being scrapped as of Wednesday.
“Please kindly be informed that Vera Wang has abolished appointment fees at her bridal salons worldwide starting from March 27, 2013,” the spokeswoman said in an email, without elaborating.
The company had claimed that the fee was designed to prevent counterfeiting of the dresses, a claim belied by the fact that counterfeit markets in China and elsewhere are already awash with fake Vera Wang’s. As Stephany Zoo wrote when we first reported this story, the true motivation seems to have been a desire to “squeeze every last drop out” of Chinese consumers’ wallets.