One of Britain’s largest shopping centre owners Land Securities is preparing to install free wi-fi and a price comparison programme to all its 22 centres.
The owner of such shopping centres as St David’s, Cardiff and Cabot Circus in Bristol is making the potentially controversial move to create a “seamless [shopping] experience for customers”, Land Securities commercial director Ronan Faherty said.
“We have got to get over ourselves and realise the internet isn’t going to be the end of the property industry. The two can co-exist,” he added.
Many bricks and mortar retailers have dragged their feet on introducing wi-fi, fearing a price war as shoppers seek bargains by researching prices on their phones to bag a bargain.
According to The Times, Land Securities has mobile optimised all its shopping centre websites to cater for customers who browse the internet while shopping.
The landlord has introduced a Google Product Search to its website, which directs shoppers to the right store when they search for a product. In due course, this will plug into the retailers’ stock, enabling shoppers to see the product’s availability.
Dedicated areas allowing shoppers to collect internet orders are also set to be introduced in Land Securities’ next step on from the Amazon collection lockers it already houses at some of its shopping centres.