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Many businesses are looking to offer in-store wireless broadband services in a bid to better meet the needs of their customers, it has been claimed.

In a study conducted by Virgin Media, 21 per cent of the 5,000 businesses contacted said they needed more Wi-Fi in stores to provide sales offers and marketing promotions to customers.

The firm said retailers are looking to cash in on the mobile technology boom by delivering more shopper-friendly content to smartphones, tablets and other devices.

More than a third of retailers (36 per cent) believe that within a decade, they will be spending as much money improving their stores as they will in creating an online presence.

And providing Wi-Fi access to customers as they shop is one of the first steps they are taking.

Tony Grace, Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Media Business, said retailers are looking at new ideas to tempt the shopper back through the door.

"Stores have recognised the fact they need to offer a quicker, sleeker and better value service to keep up with their digital rivals," he stated.

"The rate at which technology is developing means the shopper has a ton more options than they had just five years ago."

Mr Grace said that, when integrating new technology into the traditional sales techniques, retailers should be seeking out broadband providers who can really support them.

"We have the network, the people and the creativity to go beyond traditional IT and help businesses put this in place no matter what challenges they face," he claimed.

Marks & Spencer recently announced plans to trial in-store wireless broadband delivered by service provider The Cloud.

Rival store John Lewis has also launched Wi-Fi services across its UK chain of stores, backed by BT Openzone.

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