John Lewis rolls out in-store BT Openzone Wi-Fi access for PC, tablet or smartphone


John Lewis rolls out in-store BT Openzone Wi-Fi access for PC, tablet or smartphone

Jenny Williams

Jenny Williams

Jenny Williams is a correspondent for Computer Weekly.

She supports the technology team as well as covering mobile and desktop computing.

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John Lewis plans to roll out free Wi-Fi to all its UK stores by the end of the year.

Provided by BT Openzone, the free Wi-Fi access will allow John Lewis customers to access a wireless internet connection in-store via a wireless-enabled PC, tablet or smartphone. The retailer claims to be the first UK department store to offer free Wi-Fi to customers.

Paul Coby, John Lewis's IT director said: "This is a major development in John Lewis's vision for multi-channel retail. We have made great progress with online which is now growing at between 25% and 30% compared to last year and amounts to circa 20% of our revenue."

Simon Russell, John Lewis head of multi-channel, said more than 60% of John Lewis customers research products online before visiting the shop to make a purchase.

"We recognise that mobile phones have become a crucial part of people's shopping habits. The roll-out of Wi-Fi in our shops is a big step forward in helping customers to have all of the information they need at their fingertips to make an informed purchase," said Russell.

Customers will need to register once with an e-mail address to access the service. The Wi-Fi access will then allow customers to automatically synchronise their John Lewis Wish List between mobile in-store and home PCs.

John Lewis is also due to launch its Apple iPhone application, which will feature product reviews and video content.

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