WHSmith is turning 603 of its high street stores into Wi-Fi hotspots after joining forces with The Cloud.

Available now, customers who breeze through the stores will be able to log on for free with full access to the web via their smartphone, laptop or tablet device.

However, this is no ill-advised ploy by the retailer to gather hordes of remote workers into its shops to utilise the free Wi-Fi connection. Rather, the idea is that by making Wi-Fi available, shoppers will be able to log on and compare prices and read reviews of any items they are thinking of buying.

Customers will be directed to a WHSmith landing page as soon as they log on, providing store information, any special offers that might be available, along with other features. 

As a stockist for Kobo eReaders, Smith’s tells us that all devices will be hooked up to the in-store Wi-Fi enabling customers to try before they buy.