Entain launches digital shops across UK and Europe

| By Marese O'Hagan
Entain has announced the digital conversion of its retail business across the UK and Europe, updating “a core of” its shops into new digital spaces.

The alterations will initially take place in Entain shops in the UK on Entain’s Ladbrokes and Coral brands, and in Italy on its Eurobet brand.

Entain had previously ran trials of new store designs, which focused on digitising the experience for customers.

“Entain is a global online operator, but we are focused on delivering a great local experience for our customers,” said Rob Wood, CFO and deputy chief executive of Entain.

“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 re-opening of retail due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Entain has opened 18 new digital hubs in the UK and aims to open 30 digitised Ladbrokes and Coral stores across Leeds, Birmingham, London, Portsmouth, Sunderland, Wolverhampton, Newcastle, Dumfries and Leicester by the end of the year.

In total, the company aims to open 200 UK digital stores by the end of 2024.

“We want to bring the experiences customers have with us online into our shops, also making them more digital and contemporary environments,” said Andy Hicks, Entain retail MD for the UK and Ireland.

“We want to offer local customers a place to socialize, enjoy sports, bet and play games in a relaxed and enjoyable way.”

Under its Eurobet brand in Italy, Entain also plans to open 30 digital stores by the end of the year, including Eurobet Cafés where customers can socialise.

“This is all about offering a different and more distinctive experience to new and existing customers, “said Andrea Faelli, managing director of Entain in Italy.

“We want to move from simply offering betting shops to hosting spaces in town centers where people can come to have a good time, which may or may not include having a bet.”

Last week, Entain confirmed a takeover proposal from DraftKings, which is estimated to reach $22.4bn (£16.40bn/€19.23bn).

Under the City Code on Mergers, DraftKings now has until 19 October to submit a firm offer.

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