Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Barnes & Noble Announces Free WiFi at All Stores

Good news for those who are not already getting free WiFi via their personal AT&T contracts at the 777 Barnes & Noble bookstores across the country:
Barnes & Noble said on Tuesday that it had signed a strategic agreement with AT&T to provide free Wi-Fi to all customers in its stores.

Steve Riggio, chief executive of Barnes & Noble, said the company promoted its stores as “community centers” with cafes, comfortable seating and on-site events like book signings.

“It’s a gathering place and Wi-Fi access is increasingly becoming something that customers expect in public places,” said Mr. Riggio, adding that many airports now offered a similar service. “We’ve always considered our stores as quasi-public settings and public gathering places and thought this was the perfect opportunity to provide our customers with free access.”
As this New York Times article goes on to say, free WiFi in retail locations is the wave of the future, a sure way to attract customers and have them hang around to spend money for hours at a time. I suspect that this will become more and more common and that retailers not providing the service are going to suffer a loss of business to those that do.

I love it.


  1. This is Great!! I wonder if Borders is doing the same... Thanks for sharing!

  2. I don't see how Borders can avoid this for long because it would seem to put them at a huge competitive disadvantage with a key portion of the book-buying public. Don't you think?

    I'm not convinced, though, that Borders is going to survive the next few years.