Shutters may be closing across the UK’s high-streets, but BoyleSports is clearly not disheartened as its UK retail expansion continued this week.
The Irish bookmaker’s newest betting shop, located Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, has just completed its first full weekend of business, having opened on 19 August.
This marks the firm’s seventh UK opening since April, and brings its retail estate on the British mainland to a total of 28 shops, with an additional two operating on the Isle of Man.
Reaching out to Lee Otter, BoyleSports Director of Property and Development informed SBC News that the focus of the new outlet – along with the firm’s other retail locations – ‘is on providing first rate facilities for the customers in Ross-on-Wye, both physical and trading’.
“The UK expansion continues apace, and we have a further shop in the construction and fit-out phase (1 Wallgate, Wigan), which we expect to open early next month,” Otter continued.
“In addition, we also have a further three shops about to enter the shop-fit phase, which we expect to open before the end of the year.”
On the decision to open an outlet in Ross-on-Wye, Otter added: “We select locations following extensive assessment of the location, the wider area and the current offering in terms of retail betting shops.
“Where we identify a gap in the market for a good quality independent bookmaker and there is a healthy betting market, we look to secure the right unit in the right pitch to cater for that demand.”
Although many companies have been focusing more on online operations over the past decade, a trend accelerated by the retail-hammer blow of the pandemic between 2020 and 2021, bricks-and-mortar remains a key area of BoyleSports’ business.
The company’s Irish retail rollout has included the acquisition of Tully Bookmakers’ 10 betting shops in November last year, following on from the integration of the Racing Post’s Digital Betting Shop Display (BSD) at its Drogheda outlet.
Across the Irish sea, UK retail expansion is far from an unprofitable strategy, with UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) data for the first quarter of the financial year (April-June 2022) showing that retail revenue grew by 6% from Q4 2021/22 to £584m.
In an interview with SBC News earlier this year, Lee Otter explained that BoyleSports is placing customer service – based around interactions and a community feel – at the heart of its approach to Ross-on-Wye.
Commenting further on the new shop in the West Midlands town, and how the company will stay ahead of established local competitors, the strategy remains the same, the Director asserted.
He explained: “We always seek to provide customers with what they want, whether that is in terms of great physical surroundings (large gantry, comfortable furnishings, café area, etc.) or our innovative trading package with competitive offers (both as standard and daily/event specific enhancements, etc.) or our friendly staff and pride in customer service.
“We believe that it is a combination of all that we offer that differentiates us from other operators, who often respond by upgrading their shops, or improving their trading package, once we open our doors.”
Keep on eye on SBC News for our full Q&A with Lee Otter on BoyleSports’ UK retail growth