Customers can shop and surf 'net'

New World Wakatipu is one of 41 New World and 10 Pak`n Save stores in the South Island to offer free Wi-Fi.

Foodstuff South Island customers on all networks can surf the internet on their smartphone or tablet while browsing the aisles.

No password is required to access the internet in Wi-Fi-enabled supermarkets during business hours. Customers select ''Wi-Fi'' in their device's settings and choose the Foodstuffs network. Access is for 45min, or 45MBs, twice daily.

Foodstuffs South Island chief executive Steve Anderson, of Christchurch, said the introduction of free Wi-Fi represented ''a significant investment'' by the store owner-operators, but it would ensure they were ready to accommodate demand for mobile data.

''Customers expect to be able to access the internet wherever they are and that includes within major retail businesses like supermarkets,'' Mr Anderson said.

''They like to stay connected to their family, friends or business when away from the home or office, and rightly so. This investment will ensure our businesses are future-proofed to sustain this global trend.''