We can almost hear the cheers from here. Currently, only a few big name retail stores offer free, fast, reliable Wi-Fi
on their floors. Apple
and Best Buy come to mind, but it's extremely rare to find Internet access in shops such as Sears or Macy's. And Wal-mart, too. But now that may be changing soon, as partner chain Sam's Club has decided to install routers throughout their warehouse stores and begin offering free Wi-Fi to shoppers.
The company hopes to have over 500 locations outfitted by November, enabling holiday shoppers to come in and surf the Web when they aren't rushing through lanes. When asked about the prospect of customers using Sam's Club Wi-Fi to check the prices of competitors, Chief Executive Brian Cornell said he was "very comfortable" with that. And given that Sam's Club usually does have the lowest prices around on bulk goods, we aren't too surprised with such an answer.
Reports suggest that this Wi-Fi installation will help the company push the merits of Internet connected devices, including televisions. According to Cornell: "This will allow a member to walk up to a Samsung LCD Internet-enabled TV and see how to find his Facebook page or stream video from Vudu." We think adding Wi-Fi to stores is a fantastic idea, and we're hoping that Wal-mart catches on and does likewise soon. We suspect that may take more time though, as there are far more Wal-mart stores than Sam's Club stores to get ready.