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Sam's Club emulates Apple with free in-store Wi-Fi

updated 01:45 pm EDT, Tue August 10, 2010

Sam's Club to bring free Wi-Fi to 500 stores

Walmart's sub-brand Sam's Club today said it will offer shoppers free Wi-Fi in its stores this holiday season. Wi-Fi will be in about 500 stores by November, and the chain primarily hopes this will let shoppers experience the Wi-Fi connection on the Samsung Internet-connected TV sets it carries. Users will be encouraged to access Facebook or stream videos from Vudu.

At the same time, shoppers can use Wi-Fi on their smartphones to look up products, compare prices or read reviews. The Wi-Fi network at Sam's Club stores will be provided by AT&T. Sam's Club also plans to launch a mobile app for the popular platforms that will let shoppers scan products at home and create shopping lists as well as accessing discounts that can be processed at check-out.

Similar Wi-Fi hotspots are available at Apple stores and increasingly Best Buy, along with TigerDirect, and have been credited with boosting sales at those outlets. Apple has most commonly been touted for this decision as it both attracts customers to the store and gives them an opportunity to try computers in actual conditions with Internet access. Many retailers still often have either no access or impose heavy restrictions.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. gitcypher

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Emulates Apple?

    Wow

  1. bjojade

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    This shouldn't be news.

    It amazes me why any store wouldn't offer a simple WIFI connection to their customers. The cost is so minimal, it would be well worth it.

  1. macjockey

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Emulate Apple?

    just because they offer free Wireless that they are emulating Apple? I guess McDonalds beat Sam's at emulating Apple since they offered wireless before Sams?

    Oh wait! Some of local trailer courts in our town are emulating Apple too! Everyone is just like Apple!!!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Who knew?

    I didn't realize that offering free wi-fi to your customers was an Apple creation. Man, too bad they didn't patent it, they'd be sucking money from all those other places that followed apple and did this.

  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    "emulate Apple"...

    ...by offering free in-store WiFi so customers can test the products they might buy, like what Apple does at their stores. Glad to see it coming, so now I'll have something else to do with my iPod while shopping there. Still, it's a sensationalistic headline.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: This shouldn't be news.

    It amazes me why any store wouldn't offer a simple WIFI connection to their customers. The cost is so minimal, it would be well worth it.

    Define minimal? For a business doesn't get unlimited internet for $50 a month like a local user would. Then you have setup and maintenance, tech support, equipment, etc.

    Plus, it only is useful to offer it if there's a possible benefit to the store. Sam's Club is adding it to show off the functionality on some of its products. I doubt they really want a lot of people to come in and comparison shop with prices on-line and other places.

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