Greggs bakery chain to offer Wi-Fi access across UK
Published Mar 21 2012, 11:40 GMT
By Andrew Laughlin
© Rex Features / Monkey Business Images
Bakery chain Greggs
has agreed a deal with the Sky-owned Wi-Fi network provider The Cloud to start offering wireless internet in its shops around the UK.
The Cloud, acquired by Sky in January last year
, will start rolling out wireless hotspots in Greggs shops this month, starting with 100 outlets per week.
It is expected that all 1,571 Greggs shops in the UK, which are used by more than six million customers every week, will have Wi-Fi access by the end of the summer.
Greggs said that it expects customers to primarily use the Wi-Fi on their smartphones and tablets while sitting in the cafe areas of its larger outlets.
However, it is also considering the launch of future applications of the technology via the Wi-Fi landing page when customers log in. The chain recently introduced an app for iPhone and Android providing a store locator, along with menu and product information.
Graeme Nash, head of customer and marketing at Greggs, said: "We are constantly looking at ways of giving our customers a fantastic experience when shopping at Greggs.
"We have a number of outlets now with seating and our cafes and new coffee shops, Greggs Moment, are all ideal locations where our customers can benefit from free Wi-Fi."
The deal with Greggs follows recent similar agreements secured by The Cloud to provide Wi-Fi for high street retailers including Mamas & Papas, Ted Baker and Phones4u.
The company already operates wireless internet in Pizza Express, Eat, Caffe Nero, Wagamama, Pret A Manger and JD Wetherspoon's.
Sky has announced plans to give its Sky Broadband Unlimited customers free access to all The Cloud's network of hotspots over the next few months
The Cloud will soon have more than 10,000 hotspots in total, although the company lags far behind BT, which operates the biggest Wi-Fi hotspot estate in the UK
Cloud managing director Vince Russell said that Greggs "might not be the kind of brand you immediately associate with Wi-Fi", but the move shows how "mainstream" the technology has now become.
"It's no longer the preserve of hotels or train stations where businessmen log on to check their emails - it's used by all sorts of people for everyday reasons like updating their Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare accounts when they're on the go," he said.
"It's undeniable that the smartphone has changed consumer behaviour and now it's changing the high street too."> Virgin Media to bring Wi-Fi internet to London Underground stations