Racing Post Available for Free on Mobiles to Protect Customers
Spotlight Sports Group, owners of the Racing Post have made the popular publication free to download to mobiles. QR codes are available in 8,000 retail shops in the UK and Ireland.
The Racing Post, a popular daily horse racing, greyhound racing and sports betting publication is available to download free of charge at bookmakers after a decision by the owners of the paper.
Spotlight Sports Group has integrated QR scanning technology in bookmakers retail stores to enable customers to read the publication safely and also to encourage customers to visit high street branches. The group held an extensive trial period, and the popularity of the digital format encouraged the company to roll-out the facility nationwide.
When a customer goes into a bookmaker, they use their mobile phone’s camera to scan the QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) which is a matrix barcode that contains all the information needed to download an electronic version of the Racing Post. They can then browse the paper on their mobile phone, reducing the risk of Covid-19 spreading from the sharing of paper print.
Alan Pepperell, Spotlight Sports Group retail director, explained the decision to go digital, saying: “Post-lockdown we know bookmakers want to get as many punters in their shops in a controlled and safe environment. “We also know most visitors enjoy sitting and reading the paper before making their betting decisions for the day. “We decided to trial the QR codes to help customers who may not want to read the paper in the shop but can now do so on their mobile device.
“In the current climate, we understand if customers are apprehensive about picking up a newspaper and as we’ve seen in other high street shops and restaurants the QR codes are a simple way of getting a digital version to the user. “We will continue to work with our partners to ensure we deliver the best experience in shops in the safest way possible” Pepperell added.
The global pandemic has hit the retail sector hard, and while customers have returned to retail shops, the financial impact has been profound and has led to store closures.
High Street giant William Hill this week announced that they wouldn’t be re-opening 119 branches which the company closed during the coronavirus lockdown. The group said the decision to close the 119 shops, roughly 8% of their 1,414 branches would only lead to 16 redundancies as staff would be redeployed to other branches. The company has also pledged to repay the government £24.5m in funds claimed to support furloughed workers’ wages, due to the company releasing financial results that showed they made profits of £141m in the first six months of 2020.
However, these profits are due to a £200m VAT refund which the bookmaker received due to the pandemic. Without this rebate from the government, William Hill would have faced losses of £59m. William Hill’s share price rose by 9% to 128p a share after the company released its financial results.