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(Pocket-lint) - On the build-up to an expected busy Christmas period for the chain, Argos has installed free high-speed O2 Wi-Fi in all its 735 stores across the UK and Ireland. Customers will be able to use the internet on their smartphones or other mobile devices at no cost, which will also improve their shopping experience.

While some might still prefer to flick through the enormous traditional catalogues scattered around the stores, Argos points to its online offering and this latest move means you can browse on your own device for goods that you can then pick up.

Argos also offers a greater range of goods online and exclusive online deals and offers, so there are incentives to connecting while in store. Shoppers can also utilise the free internet service for personal use.

"We have seen strong growth in mobile transactions with sales through mobile devices now accounting for 16 per cent of our total sales," said John Walden, managing director of Argos. "We know there is a strong appetite from our customers to have the convenience of accessing their devices on the move, in a way that suits them.

"Free high-speed O2 Wi-Fi in our stores is great for customers and it also enables our stores to provide even better customer service by sharing online content such as extended ranges, enhanced photography and even product videos with customers."

All customers can use the free Wi-Fi service regardless of their network or broadband provider. Those already signed up to O2 Wi-Fi will log on automatically when they enter an Argos store.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 26 November 2013.