Debenhams will launch free wifi across its 167-store chain, which will see it offer the largest internet coverage of any department store group in the UK.
Debenhams expects the aligning of online and bricks and clicks to have a “dramatic effect” on the way customers purchase goods in store.
The service will enable customers to connect to the internet using smartphone and tablets in store, allowing them access to special deals and information about Debenhams and its products.
Customers will be able to check stock for sizes and availability if the product is not on the shop floor by scanning the barcode of an item. Shoppers can also share feedback on products, view store layouts to find products easily and quickly and arrange for bulky goods to be delivered direct to home.
Debenhams director Simon Forster said: “We’re seeing the shape of shopping in the future emerging right before our eyes. With over one million customers already with our app on their phones, free Wifi in stores has the potential to transform how people shop.”
The wifi roll-out follows a trial of the service provided by O2 across three Debenhams stores in the UK. There has also been a “large” number of downloads of the Debenhams app and 20% of the retailer’s online traffic now comes from mobile devices.