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Free mobile charging at intu malls a key part of the digital shopping experience

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Free-to-use, secure, phone chargers are being installed at all the intu branded shopping centres in the UK in the largest shopping centre roll out by ChargeBox, the world’s leading secure, out-of-home, mobile phone charging company.

ChargeBox phone chargers were trialled in four shopping centres – intu Bromley, intu Merry Hill, intu Metrocentre and intu Trafford Centre – during November and December. Feedback through Tell intu, the UK’s only national shopping centre feedback system, was overwhelmingly positive, encouraging a national roll out. The trial meant intu could fully gauge the popularity and it indicated customers carried on shopping or relaxed in a coffee shop while their phones charged, adding to dwell times for existing retailers and restaurants.

With half the UK population visiting an intu branded shopping centre each year, the phone chargers are expected to prove very popular with customers. Across the 15 centres, intu will have capacity to charge one million mobile phones per year. Each securely locked charger box has a choice of connectors and works with most Apple, Android and Windows phones.

Roger Binks, customer experience director of intu, said: “Phone chargers are the latest addition to the intu signature customer experience programme. We have the most digitally connected shopping centres allowing customers to enjoy omni-channel shopping. Free wifi, free click-and-collect for purchases from numerous top retailers through intu.co.uk, free apps at many of the centres, Collect+ and now free phone chargers too. And that means our centres are places full of compelling experiences where customers can enjoy whole days out to meet friends or spend time with the family.”

Richard Gutsell, business development director of ChargeBox, adds: “Mobile phones are an integral part of modern life, from browsing the web during a shopping trip to maintaining contact with friends and family across a shopping centre. Industry research shows the use of mobile phones starts to fall off in the late afternoon as batteries run flat. The intu roll out will ensure its customers can now remain connected for as long as they wish.”

The phone chargers will ensure customers can continue to benefit from retailers’ brick-and-clicks strategies throughout their visit and will enhance dwell times, helping existing shops and restaurants to flourish. It also gives another reason for customers to travel from further and stay for longer.
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