The online gambling giant Entain has announced a digital conversion of its retail businesses across the UK and Europe, updating several of its shops into new digital spaces.
The operator previously ran trials of new store designs which focused on digitising the customer experience.
Entain announces digital shops
According to an announcement made yesterday, Entain has moved to revamp and digitise several of its UK and European retail businesses.
The retail makeover will initially apply to Entain shops in the UK and Italy across the Ladbrokes, Coral, and Eurobet brands. According to the announcement, in both countries, Entain has run successful trials of new, contemporary store design and formats more closely aligned to customers’ online experience.
In its announcement, the operator explained that upgrades to UK stores focus on delivering a “dynamic experience” moving the Ladbrokes and Coral brands beyond their highstreet rivals’ capabilities.
The new digital hubs will feature interactive displays, providing punters with more choices of interactive sports and gaming content. Venues will also trial lie events and new promotions for customers.
Rob Wood, CFO and Deputy Chief Executive of Entain said: “Entain is a global online operator, but we are focused on delivering a great local experience for our customers. This investment allows us to give a more immersive and joined up online omni-channel experience to our customers.
“Since high streets re-opened, our retail customers have returned in large numbers which reflects the continued demand from customers for an engaging in-shop experience,” he added. This digital makeover of shops, together with ongoing investments into our industry leading tech platform and £100m of innovation investment over the next 3 years, are important drivers of our future growth.”
Following the reopening of high street retail betting shops earlier this year, Entain has opened 18 new digital hubs across the UK and plans to have a total of 30 new-style Ladbrokes and Coral shops open by the end of the year.
These new shops will be located in cities such as Leeds, Birmingham, London, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Dumfries, and Leicester.
The operator aims to have 200 UK digital stores operational by the end of 2024.
“Our shops are at the heart of local communities and employ around 13,000 people across the country,” said Andy Hicks, Entain Retail MD for the UK and Ireland. “We want to bring the experiences customers have with us online into our shops, also making them more digital and contemporary environments. We want to offer local customers a place to socialize, enjoy sports, bet and play games in a relaxed and enjoyable way.”
Entain’s plans for Italy
In Italy, where Entain’s retail outlets operate under the Eurobet brand, the Group plans to convert around 200 shops and plans to have the first 30 locations open by the end of this year.
The changes in Italy will focus on upgrading existing stores to offer customers a new place to meet and socialize with friends.
“This is all about offering a different and more distinctive experience to new and existing customers, “said Andrea Faelli, Managing Director of Entain, Italy. “We want to move from simply offering betting shops to hosting spaces in town centres where people can come to have a good time, which may or may not include having a bet.”