Londis plans first in-store cybercafé

Londis, the convenience store chain, is to become the first UK food retailer to offer cybercafés in its stores.

The symbol group chain, which has just under 2,000 stores in the UK – run largely by individual retailers, is offering its licensees the cyberstop@Londis concept for under &£2,000.

Cyberstops will offer up to four PCs which customers can use to access the Internet and use e-mail, with time paid for at the shop counter. It is being tested in four Londis stores before being offered to store owners nationally.

Marketing director Kenton Lawton says more than 400 outlets, which offer Londis’ current office facilities, including fax and photocopying services, would be suitable for the cyberstop concept.

Lawton says: “We are looking at building the system into a communications area, which will have not only the Internet, but all office facilities, with added service.”

Retailers offering cyberstop will need to be trained to deal with technical faults, says Lawton.

It is the first time a food retailer has launched a cybercafé service, though Safeway is testing coin-operated Internet access points in three of its stores.

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