Starbucks Offers Free Wi-Fi for 2 Hours a Day

Firm unveils its latest attempt to revive business
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2008 5:30 PM CDT
Starbucks Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Howard Schultz stands near the coffee shop's original store at the Pike Place Market during a celebration event for the company in Seattle, Tuesday, April...   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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(Newser) – Starbucks will offer its customers 2 hours of free Wi-Fi a day starting next week, its latest effort to snap out of a sales slump, USA Today reports. Those eligible need a Starbucks Card and must register online with the company's rewards program. Critics say the move isn’t the severe re-imagining the firm needs, but Starbucks argues the Internet access will pump up the already successful Starbucks Card program

"They are desperate to keep the traffic going in their stores," says a branding expert. "But free Internet access won't get you there. Starbucks needs to fundamentally rethink the environment of its stores."