Boingo Wireless secures Wi-Fi rights to Westfield, Cafaro shopping centers
Los Angeles — Boingo Wireless has announced agreements with mall owners Westfield and Cafaro to manage and operate retail Wi-Fi networks in several of each developer’s shopping centers.
With this agreement, Boingo now manages Wi-Fi networks in 33 malls across the country.
For Cafaro, at three of its busiest malls, guests will be able to access Boingo Wi-Fi on any Wi-Fi-enabled device – including their smartphones, tablets and laptops – from anywhere in the mall. Boingo’s roaming partners, such as Skype and Verizon, will also be able to access the networks easily.
“Everyone in the mall today seems to have a device in-hand, whether they’re actively shopping, doing business with tenants or just watching the world walk by,” said Anthony Cafaro, Jr., co-president of the Cafaro Co., based in Youngstown, Ohio. “Boingo’s valuable experience in managing Wi-Fi in large venues will help us deliver more value to the shopping experience at our properties.”
For Cafaro, Boingo will install Wi-Fi networks in the Spotsylvania Towne Centre (Fredericksburg, Va.), the Eastwood Mall (Niles, Ohio) and the South Hill Mall (Puyallup, Wash.).
For Westfield LLC, the U.S. unit of the Westfield Group, Boingo will manage and sponsor Wi-Fi services at up to 17 Westfield shopping centers. Westfield guests will be able to access Boingo Wi-Fi on their smartphones, tablets and laptops as a complimentary service while shopping, dining or being entertained. The networks will also be easily accessible to customers of more than a dozen of Boingo’s roaming partners, including Skype and Verizon.
“The ability to leverage Boingo’s location-based platform in the future to deliver targeted consumer offers and messaging provides us with a growth strategy for the Wi-Fi amenity,” said Alan Cohen, Westfield’s U.S. executive VP marketing.
The first phase of implementation where Boingo will manage Wi-Fi services includes seven premium Westfield shopping centers: Westfield Garden State Plaza (Paramus, N.J.), Westfield San Francisco Centre (San Francisco), Westfield Old Orchard (Skokie, Ill.), Westfield Valley Fair (Santa Clara, Calif.), Westfield Montgomery (Bethesda, Md.), Westfield Southcenter (Seattle), and Westfield Galleria at Roseville (Roseville, Calif.). Following deployment of the first phase, Westfield and Boingo have agreed to the potential addition of up to 10 shopping centers for the second phase.
Survey: Sam’s Club and Publix tops in customer experience
Waban, Mass. — Research results released Tuesday by Temkin Group, which rates the customer experience of 206 large companies across 18 industries, showed that only eight companies deliver excellent customer experience: Sam’s Club and Publix led the pack, followed by Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Aldi, Winn-Dixie, H.E.B., and credit unions.
According to the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, in its second year, 76 companies (37% of the total) earned "poor" or "very poor" ratings.
The research examines customer experience across 18 industries: airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast-food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, TV service providers, and wireless carriers.
Grocery chains, fast-food chains and retailers are the top three industries, earning an average rating of "good." At the bottom of the ratings, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans earn an average rating of "poor." Health plans show up in seven of the bottom 14 spots in the ratings.
"While many companies aren’t delivering experiences that meet customers’ needs, it’s an epidemic for TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans," said Bruce Temkin, author of the report and managing partner of Temkin Group.
The research by Temkin Group also analyzed the changes in ratings between 2011 and 2012. Among retailers, Kohl’s had the largest decline.
Whole Foods appoints VPs of operations
Austin, Texas — Whole Foods Market announced that two regional presidents, David Lannon and Ken Meyer, have been promoted to executive VPs of operations, joining the executive leadership team. The company’s 12 regional presidents will report to them.
In these newly created positions, Lannon and Meyer join John Mackey, Walter Robb, Glenda Flanagan, A.C. Gallo and Jim Sud, expanding the executive team to seven leaders. They will begin transitioning into their new roles over the next month. Lannon will reside in Northern California and Meyer in the Washington, D.C., area. Both will frequent the company’s headquarters in Austin.