WHSmith has announced it will offer customers free Wi-Fi broadband in its stores.
The high street retailer has partnered with The Cloud to install Wi-Fi in 603 of its stores across the UK. The service is rolling out now and will be available to use for free on devices like smartphones and tablets.
Ian Sanders, group business development director at WHSmith said: "The internet allows us to provide a lot of extra information that was previously unavailable in-store, for example in-depth book reviews, product lists or search functions. It’s about bringing the high street and online together in a way that works for our customers - free WiFi access does this."
Apart from an 'enhanced' shopping experience, WHSmith hopes that the Wi-Fi will help it sell more Kobo eReaders by demonstrating its features better. A 'try before you buy' type method. See also: What's the cheapest eReader?
WHSmith said that 60 percent of consumers use mobile internet while they're shopping with 19 percent using it to compare prices and read product reviews.
Customers will be directed to a WHSmith landing page when connecting to the Wi-Fi but can use it for other online activities like social networking.
The move increases The Cloud's network which is already in stores such as Pizza Express, Eat, Greggs and Pret.