Vera Wang opens in Shanghai first store in China and charges fee to try bridal gown

American apparel house Vera Wang, known for its bridal, opens a two-story, 850 square meters store in Shanghai – her largest flagship store – to controversy. Wang’s first China store charges a non-refundable fee of 3,000 yuan (US$482) to try on bridal gowns for 90 minutes. Furthermore, potential clients will have to make appointments “several weeks” in advance, according to The Global Times.

If the customer purchases a wedding gown, the fee will be deducted from the purchase; otherwise, the fee can be used toward other items in the store. The company indicated that the “trying or fitting fee” is a way to protect its designs. Photo-taking or filming is also ban in the store.

This practice of charging a “trying fee” is not new as some Hong Kong bridal shops have similar practices. However, for a company who wants to do business in China, this policy will not endear the company to Chinese clients who are already sensitive to disparities they see between shopping experiences overseas and in China. The mandatory “trying fee” will likely be a hard sell. The Xintiandi store displays 80 dresses with prices from 30,000 yuan (US$4815) to 300,000 yuan (US$48,174) and features three dressing rooms and one VIP room.

Vera Wang, Hong Hong flagship store