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Wi-Fi Moves Into Grocery Stores

Wi-Fi has spread from office and home to Internet caf? and fast food franchises. Now, it is moving into supermarkets -- in this case specifically to the 360-store Stop & Shop chain in the Northeast.

ICOA Inc. said Wednesday that it has been chosen by the supermarket chain to power its Wi-Fi initiative. IOCA said Stop & Shop has begun to rollout free Wi-Fi access for its customers in the wake of a successful trial in Stop & Shop facilities.

While Wi-Fi has been installed in several supermarkets in the U.K., the wireless technology has been slow to catch on in the United States. One successful application has been installed at the Forest Hills Foods caf? area in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The first Stop & Shop installation, which opened last month, is in a 34-seat area in the front of its Dorchester, Mass., store. Stop & Shop said it plans to install Wi-Fi service at other locations this year.

Ekahau, a Wi-Fi vendor, has suggested that its positioning technology be implemented with Wi-Fi in supermarkets so shoppers can be directed to aisles with promotional offers and to store employees.