NewRiver Retail (NRR), the UK’s fourth largest owners of shopping centres and specialist real estate investment trust focused (REIT) on the UK food and value retail sector, has announced a partnership with WiFi provider The Cloud to offer free WiFi access across its shopping mall sites.
With shopping centres throughout the UK, the service will offer over 54 million shoppers free WiFi access from their mobile devices, letting them browse the internet, access social networks and enjoy an improved multi-channel shopping experience. Research from The Cloud has shown that 73% of smartphone owners have used their phone when they are out shopping to check prices, look for offers or use apps like Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare.
Allan Lockhart, Property Director at NRR said: “The digital age has changed consumer behaviour dramatically and it is our role, as shopping centre owners, to be one step ahead and not only adapt the retail environment for that change but pre-empt such change. Today, successful retail is multi-channel. At NewRiver we have a committed bricks’n’clicks strategy because we see the digital world as an opportunity for the physical stores at our centres. Working with The Cloud to provide free WiFi allows us to deliver the experience and service our shoppers wants and needs.”
The WiFi service will allow NewRiver shoppers to read product reviews before purchase; share purchases with their friends via social media; or simply browse and catch up on news and email. With free WiFi, the overall shopping experience is improved for consumers which should in turn increase footfall, dwell time and sales for our retailers. The service is now live in 12 centres and customers logging in to ‘The Cloud’ hotspot will be directed to a NRR centre-branded landing page.
Vince Russell, Managing Director of The Cloud, said: “It is safe to say mobile has become a core part of the shopping experience and this trend will only grow as more and more consumers start using smartphones and tablets. While the likes of 3G and 4G offer a means to go online, the service can be slow and unreliable – especially at peak times. Shoppers know this and are increasingly looking to WiFi hotspots for fast internet access. In adapting to suit the modern shopper, NRR can capitalise on mobile and reap the rewards.”
An estimated 8m people every day pass through The Cloud network by visiting one of its partners, including major outlets like M&S, WHSmith and Caffè Nero, as well as First Great Western and Network Rail stations.
To celebrate the launch of free Cloud WiFi across NewRiver portfolio, NewRiver has a free WiFi enabled pop-up photo-booth visiting each centre during the half term period inviting shoppers to get connected, win a WiFi enabled digital camera and simply have a bit of fun.
Further information (external website)