Optus has secured a $20 million contract to roll out the public wi-fi network across 81 shopping centres owned by Vicinity Centres, as the property group lays the groundwork to build its in-store digital capabilities.
Vicinity Centres’ portfolio includes Chadstone Shopping Centre in Victoria, Emporium Melbourne, Chatswood Chase Sydney, Queens Plaza in Brisbane and Galleria in Perth. The property company, which was formerly traded as Federation Centres, rebranded following the merger with Novion Property Group in June 2015.
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Retailers are increasingly attempting to align digital assets, such as e-commerce and social channels, with their bricks and mortar store operations. For shopping centre management, that means investing in infrastructure centre navigation and mapping tools, as well as location-based marketing to shoppers’ smartphones.
The high speed wi-fi services that Optus is implementing for Vicinity Centres will enrich the consumer experience, including enabling personalised content and tailored location information. The wi-fi service will also provide significant benefit to retail tenants as they increasingly adopt the use of digital advertising, wireless terminals and beacon technology.
Angus McNaughton, Vicinity Centres’ CEO and Managing Director, said “We are pleased to be partnering with Optus on our connectivity project, the first step in realising Vicinity’s digital vision of creating a seamlessly integrated physical and digital retail property platform aimed at enhancing the consumer experience, through delivering a better connection with our customers and retailers, and improving operational performance.”
Optus Business’s John Paitaridis said delivering digital enablement and improving customer experience are the critical drivers for deploying high speed public wi-fi services.
According to Paitaridis, “With the pervasive use of mobile phones across all age groups and demographics, the mobile device has become the essential digital companion for retail shoppers.”
Enterprise and public sector organisations view Optus as the clear leader in managed wi-fi according to Paitaridis, who also said that the company has delivered wi-fi networks to shopping centres, stadiums, airports and transport hubs. “Our approach is to ensure our customers achieve a great return on their business cases when they invest in Optus wi-fi solutions.”