4 Aug 2011

Tesco connects the Nation

Tesco is setting out to provide free WiFi across every single one of its UK stores. With over 2,700 stores and 1.3 million sq foot of floor space this means a LOT more WiFi coverage! They're trialling in four stores at present but are set up to roll this out quickly.

If you look at the Tesco store map above, you'll see why this is such a big deal. Add this network to the existing free WiFi in all Starbucks, McDonalds, some Sainsbury stores and many local cafe's and pubs we're getting to the stage where every local community will be connected and pretty much always on.

In the US, there are already a number of retailers who offer free wifi iuncluding Sam's Club, the upmarket brand of Walmart, although Walmart stores themselves don't yet have the facility.

With Tesco also set to digitise their Clubcard Loyalty scheme later this year, their smartphone shopping app and the imminent arrival of near-field payment technology it's an interesting time for the future of retail. This supply of WiFi networks coupled with the growth in smartphone penetration (20.3 M smartphones in the UK!) means location based targeting should be on all our agenda's!

MediaCom Edinburgh are already leading the charge in digital loyalty schemes with the programme we're implementing for Subway's Subcard, the first ever mobile enabled loyalty scheme in Europe and the first QSR loyalty scheme at all. We've also recently implemented the UK's first proximity targeted mobile campaign via O2's new "You Are Here" service, also for Subway.

Thanks to Amy Chan in MediaCom's Future's team for bringing this to my attention.