A Gucci store has caused a stir after it was accused of charging influencers to pose with empty shopping bags to make it seem as if they had just bought several items from the luxury store.
The Gucci store in question is based in the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre in the city of Cape Town in South Africa.
The branch was accused by model and TikTok star Avril Albetti of charging influencers an eye-watering ZAR 1,000 (GBP 49) to pose with several of the store’s empty bags.
The minimum wage in South Africa is ZAR 20 (GBP 0.97) per hour.
Avril filmed such an alleged transaction taking place, which she posted to the platform where she has 25,900 followers on Sunday, 15th August.
The video has since been viewed 1.9 millions times.
She and other netizens accused the store of charging influencers to take photos with large but empty Gucci-branded bags to post to social media to feign a high-flying lifestyle.
One TikTok user commented: “It’s been long happening. Even at clubs they ‘rent’ expensive bottles. I saw this in DBN (Durban).”
Another netizen commented: “Gucci is smart. People are so desperate and Gucci is cashing in on that. Simple.”
Another TikTok user commented: “I was called a hater for questioning why we only see paper bags rather than seeing receipts.”
Sensing a business opportunity, one netizen commented: “Guys, I’ll photoshop in the bags for ZAR 500 (GBP 24).”
And TikTok user Unathi Kondlo somewhat pithily commented: “Sadly we are like those bags, empty.”
At the time of reporting, Gucci had not commented on the claim.