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QUINCY, Mass. -- After testing in a store and its headquarters, Stop & Shop plans to rollout a new free Wi-Fi program to other stores this year.
Stop & Shop initially tested the technology in its corporate headquarters waiting room last summer, and then, based on the success of that trial, introduced Wi-Fi at its South Bay Plaza location in Dorchester, Mass., an initiative that went live in December 2005.
The system employs equipment, system monitoring, and customer care supplied by ICOA, a Warwick, R.I.-based national provider of wireless broadband Internet networks and managed services in high-traffic public locations.
"The ability to stop and surf, and maybe have a meal or a cup of coffee, is yet another convenience for our customers," noted Stop & Shop new ventures product manager Mike Drumm in a statement. "We look forward to working closely with ICOA during the rollout to optimize our overall customer experience."
Said ICOA c.e.o. Rick Schiffmann, "Providing Internet access in [Stop & Shop's] cafe seating area is another service that helps their customers accomplish more during their busy day."
Although Stop & Shop spokesman Robert Keane declined to give information on an exact time frame for the rollout or which stores would receive the technology, ICOA spokeswoman Jennifer Nieman told Progressive Grocer that the service was scheduled to go live in several stores with café seating areas in early 2006.
Nieman told added that ICOA has worked on other Wi-Fi initiatives at supermarkets, including the installation of the service at in-store Starbucks locations in Kroger stores.
Ahold-owned Stop & Shop operates more than 360 stores in New England, New York, and New Jersey.