Flutter Entertainment plans to enhance Paddy Power’s retail offering via its Alpha Hub ‘global innovation community’, calling on emerging tech start-ups to participate.
The group, which operates 625 betting shops across the UK and Ireland, is looking for firms with ‘tenacious ideas’ focused around data and analytics, the in-store experience and the future of self-service terminals.
Interested companies will also have a ‘wildcard option’ to share ideas on safer gambling and improving the overall retail entertainment experience – notably, Flutter wants to draw customers into its shops with an offering that ‘can’t be replicated online’.
“If you follow the world of retail, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard of Paddy Power,” said Rob Smith, Flutter’s Head of Emerging Technologies.
“The brand is one of the most eye-catching and popular in the industry, with a huge retail footprint that spans 625 retail outlets managed by thousands of colleagues who provide an outstanding service to customers all over the UK and Ireland. But we never rest on our laurels.”
As bettors increasingly shift towards online and omni-channel betting verticals, Flutter is evaluating how it can develop a ‘frictionless, intuitive self-service’ offering, using reliable hardware and software.
The group is also assessing how it can improve its in-store product and grow engagement and support, whilst also seeking to improve data collection and analysis from its shops, better utilise customer insights and use retail data for player protection.
Successful start-ups will participate in paid proof of concept trails across Paddy Power’s UK and Irish venues, as well as gain information on Flutter’s high-street business, product feedback and tailored mentoring sessions with retail executives.
The companies involved will also be introduced to other Flutter brands – such as The Stars Group, Tombola and Betfair – as well as the Alpha Hub’s extended partner network.
Flutter’s plans to bolster its retail offering began earlier this year when it began to incorporate BoscaSports’ digital displays across its high-street holdings in February, whilst its retail revenue undergoes a steady recovery from the pandemic to close at £65 million during Q1.
Smith continued: “Although we have the scale of a leader, we maintain the mindset of a challenger, so we’re constantly innovating in a race to the top for our customers. If your company can help us do that, we’d love to hear from you.
“In return, you’ll get the chance to run a paid proof of concept in our retail estate with the support of a global network powered by Flutter Entertainment.”