Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Barnes & Noble Stores Nationwide to Offer Complimentary AT&T Wi-Fi
NEW YORK, JULY 28, 2009 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, announced today a strategic agreement with AT&T that will provide complimentary in-store Wi-Fi to any customer that visits a Barnes & Noble bookstore nationwide. All customers shopping in Barnes & Noble stores can now freely download and preview any of the over 700,000 eBook titles with hundreds of thousands of public domain titles available from Google. The company said its number of eBook titles is expanding everyday and expects to hit the one million mark soon.
“Barnes & Noble pioneered the concept of retail stores as community centers,” said Steve Riggio, CEO of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “By providing no-fee Wi-Fi access, we are not only meeting our customers’ needs, but extending the sense of community that has always been in our stores.”
Mr. Riggio added, “This is a natural progression of our digital strategy to provide customers with more choices in how, when and where they want to read.” The existing AT&T Wi-Fi network at Barnes & Noble has been available to customers since 2005. Now, anybody walking into a Barnes & Noble store anywhere in the country will have complimentary and unlimited access to the network at all store locations.

As a part of the Wi-Fi offering announced today, customers will soon be able to opt-in to receive personalized messages from Barnes & Noble — such as a coupon to the in-store café, notices on an author book signing or details on where to find a new book release in their favorite genre — on their Wi-Fi enabled devices when they enter the store.
“We are pleased to expand our relationship with Barnes & Noble as we work together to enhance and deepen customers’ overall experience within the retail stores,” said Ron Spears, CEO, AT&T Business Solutions. “We currently offer the majority of our AT&T customers Wi-Fi access throughout our more than 20,000 U.S. hotspot footprint, including Barnes & Noble, with their qualifying AT&T services. Now, we’re excited to be able to offer every Barnes & Noble customer the same great Wi-Fi experience at no extra charge whenever they enter a retail store.”

Customers can also download free Barnes & Noble Apps giving them access to the world’s largest eBookstore with over 700,000 eBooks titles and exclusive content, customer reviews, information about in-store events, store locations, and more.
The Bookman wonders when free Wi-Fi might become available in NZ bookstores? And hotels? Every where in fact?
During my current sojourn in the northern hemisphere we found it now a universal practice for hotels to provide free fast Wi-Fi connections, and free local phone calls. NZ hotels seem to regard the Internet and telephone as an additional opportunity to gain revenue rather than providing them as a service. Get in to the 21st century!
I intend to publicise all NZ hotels, motels, B&B's who provide free Wi-Fi to their customers so please let me know any you come across and I will compile a register and post it to the blog weekly.


Keith Mockett said...

You make a good point about hotels charging for things like phones. Back in the "good old days" before Telecom charged businesses for local calls it was hard for hotels etc to justify it but they still charged for local phone calls. Copying their overseas parents I suppose. Used to annoy me. Now that it's 4c a minute I suppose they may want to recover those costs.

The Hotel So in Christchurch offers free wireless (and charged wired) Internet access. It's in the middle of town and is quite new. The rooms are small, tiny actually, but all one needs for an overnighter. At $70 per night I thought it was great value.

Pene Walsh said...

Libraries of course! Many, many New Zealand public libraries provide free wi-fi under the auspices of Aotearoa People's Network. Not only free wi-fi but free access to the internet on PCs for people who do not own a laptop, itouch or other wi-fi device. After the library closes here in Gisborne, NZ, our customers have been know to huddle outside the door - still within the wi-fi range - to continue their important business.