Entain Plc has moved to upgrade and digitise the estates of its retail business operating within the UK and Italy.
The FTSE100 business embarks on its biggest retail project ever, aiming to transform the betting estates of its Ladbrokes, Coral and Eurobet brands “into contemporary, digital, spaces to enhance the omni-channel experience for customers.”
The firm’s retail makeover has been marked as a key project of Entain’s £100 million group-wide innovation commitment, in which the company has trailed contemporary store designs, evaluating in-store engagements and crossover with online experiences.
“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,” said Rob Wood, CFO and Deputy Chief Executive of Entain.
“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.”
Trailing new concepts, Entain has opened 18 new digital hubs across the UK and plans to have a total of 30 new-style Ladbrokes and Coral shops opened nationwide by the end of the year.
UK upgrades have focused on delivering punters a ‘dynamic experience’, moving Ladbrokes and Coral beyond their highstreet rivals’ traditional capacities.
The digital hubs will feature interactive displays providing more choice of interactive sports and gaming content, whilst venues will trial live events and new promotions to be shared with customers across retail locations.
“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 socialise, enjoy sports, bet and play games in a relaxed and enjoyable way.”
In Italy, Entain plans to digitise around 200 Eurobet shops, with plans to upgrade the first 30 locations by the end of year trading. Italian changes will focus on upgrading shops to Eurobet Cafes concept which 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.”