Starbucks Corp. said today that it has selected Google to upgrade its Wi-Fi Internet service systemwide in the U.S.

During the next 18 months, Starbucks plans to upgrade existing Wi-Fi service with Google in more than 7,000 U.S. units, the company said in a statement.

Starbucks did not disclose the financial details of the partnership.


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“Every day our customers rely on the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks to study, work, connect with friends or just relax,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks. “Our goal is to continue to provide our customers with the best in-store experience possible.”

Millions of customers currently use the free Wi-Fi in Starbucks units, Linda Mills, senior manager, global brand PR at Starbucks, said in an email. However, she could not offer the percentage of Starbucks customers that currently uses the service.

The Wi-Fi upgrade should lead to higher product sales in the future, Mills noted. “At Starbucks, we focus on how to enhance the customer experience, and we believe that if we continue to focus on that, good things will come to our business downstream,” she said. “We do believe that all the things we do to enhance the in-store experience will enhance sales.”

As part of the agreement, Starbucks and Google are working with Level 3 Communications, an internal telecommunications company, to implement the upgrade.

Seattle-based Starbucks has more than 19,000 locations globally.

Contact Erin Dostal at erin.dostal@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @erindostal