Admiral reopened its stores on May 17 with all the anticipation of a full recovery after months and months of lockdown. For three venues, however, in Birmingham, West Ealing and Wakefield, the celebrations were focused on new openings with the AGC giant unveiling the latest additions to its high street portfolio.
It would be fair to say that there was a wave of excitement around Admiral as its AGC operations returned to action last week. But for three towns and cities, it was a special moment with new venues making their debut on the high street.
Birmingham, West Ealing and Wakefield joined the Admiral family, opening their doors for the first time; a fourth, in Glasgow, is also ready to open once targeted regional lockdown measures are eased by the Scottish government.
It was an expansion that drew the enthusiasm of the Admiral team. On opening Admiral Birmingham, CEO Tom Allison said: “We’re confident of a full recovery across our established business post-Covid, as we experienced last year while allowed to trade. These new openings offer us a chance to grow our business further, using the unique opportunity that presents itself on the High Street to expand into new markets.”
And the horizons sound as if they are extending beyond these four new stores. Allison again: “Our roadmap to these openings is getting more prolific and best practice is making us more efficient when it comes to converting existing retail space into our high calibre gaming venues on the High Street.”
On the logistics, the new project venues have been on the green light for some time. According to Admiral despatches, the venues were worked on during the last two lockdowns but had been unable to welcome customers until last week’s reopening. Now operating, the debutants take Admiral to 238 venues nationwide, cementing their position as market leaders in the UK.
For Birmingham, the new opening represents a more central location for Admiral which has traded within the second city for some time. Moving to Birmingham High Street offers a much more competitive space, offering customers more choice in the marketplace.
Wakefield and West Ealing, on the other hand, deliver new territories for the operator, both fresh markets to Admiral and support the overall strategy of expanding the Luxury Leisure Talarius operation into new locations, including vibrant towns and within the M25.
And there is more to come.
In a statement, the company this week was bold in its aspirations, declaring: “The combined investment to bring the Admiral brand standard, comfort and machine selection that the customer demands is significant and is part of a 20 location rollout across the rest of the year.”
That process will not be long in the coming: Admiral will open further new venues in Crystal Palace and Stoke Newington during June.
Reinforcing this ambition, Paul Hyman, COO, was determined the operator continued to deliver high quality and economic prosperity to its local communities. He added: “We find ourselves well positioned to bring our best in class service and products to towns and cities across the UK and we couldn’t be more pleased to be able to do so. Customers are seeking the type of low stake gaming environments that Admiral creates and the economic advantage of having us on the high street is being widely recognised. We remain committed to player protection, social responsibilities and providing employment in local communities. Our most recent openings are creating jobs for over 20 people.”