Argos to roll out free O2 Wi-Fi to 735 stores and launch new shops

UK retail giant Argos announced yesterday that it is teaming up with O2 to provide free Wi-Fi in all of its 735 stores as part of a bid to offer customers a better service.

Argos said the Wi-Fi will enable customers to view extended online ranges, exclusive online deals and check their emails while in store.

The company added that it wants to give its customers the “convenience of accessing their device on the move, in a way that suits them."

Although the Wi-Fi is being provided by O2, it will be available to anyone on any network.

Current O2 customers will automatically have access to the Argos Hotspot but others will have to sign up to O2 Wi-Fi.

Argos also announced its first ‘digital concept’ stores yesterday, which will allow customers to browse and order products on in-store iPads, which will replace traditional catalogues and slips of paper that customers have traditionally placed their orders on.

The retailer, which aims to open six trial digital stores before Christmas, revealed its first in Old Street, east London, yesterday. Three more are due to open in the capital as well as one in Colchester and one in Dunfermline, Scotland.

John Walden, Managing Director of Argos, said: “We are seeking to reposition our stores to support a digital future - in which digital channels are the primary interface for customers, but stores continue to be critically important as a national network for product collection, and a local presence for local colleagues to provide customer service.

"The new digital concept stores enable us to trial with customers several important features of what we believe a store should offer in a digital future, such as a modern and universally appealing environment, a fast and digitally-enabled shopping journey, market-leading fulfilment options for an increasing range of products, and friendly colleagues that provide a human touch in an otherwise impersonal digital transaction."

Argos said earlier this year that the rise in mobile commerce was fuelling the company's growth, claiming that the relatively new shopping method grew 124 percent to account for 16 percent of total sales for the 26 weeks to 31 August 2013.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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