William Hill to keep 119 shops closed as Covid-19 pandemic causes fall in customer numbers

William Hill has announced that 119 of its betting shops will remain closed as they do not expect customers to return in the numbers seen before the Covid-19 pandemic.

By Ryan Smith
Wednesday, 5th August 2020, 8:05 am

It is not yet known which shops could remain permanently closed or if any of the affected stores are in the North East.

The betting company confirmed on Wednesday, August 5 that most of the impacted jobs will be protected and “redeployed” within other parts of the business.

William Hill runs more than 1,500 betting shops across the UK and the company’s chief executive, Ulrik Bengtsson, has heaped praise on the staff for their efforts during the pandemic.

Betting company William Hill has announced that it will permanently close 119 stores due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Getty Images.

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He said: “I am delighted with William Hill’s performance in these extraordinary times. Our team has been remarkable, supporting each other and our customers throughout the pandemic, and I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts.

Mr Bengtsson also revealed that the furlough scheme set out by the Government allowed the company to save around 7,000 retail jobs and that the bookmaker is now in a strong position to pay them back.

He added: “The furlough scheme provided welcome and timely support, and meant we could protect the jobs of our 7,000 UK retail colleagues.

Bosses at William Hill commented that they had seen encouraging progress last month when shops did reopen and that the business was doing well online since mainstream sports started up again.

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