There's a store in Australia that's begun charging $5 to enter the store. The reason? You'll empathize when you hear it.
It's to discourage "showrooming" -- that's when people walk into a retail store, take up the sales peoples' time asking questions, trying things on, haggling price, then leaving and making the purchase online for less.
There's nothing wrong with using sites like to shop for less, but you can't try on the boots! Sporting goods stores, boutiques, camping stores, hardware stores, ski shops, shoe stores and electronics stores are losing big bucks to "showrooming." They know customers want to see, touch and smell products. They know they want to ask questions. But for customers to take advantage of that investment in space, manpower and training and then make the purchase somewhere else is tacky!

So if I understood WHY a store wanted me to pay a cover charge, I'd pay it happily (so long as it was deducted from my purchase price). What about you?