The strongest representation of lottery products in Auckland that I have noticed over several trips to the city this year is in convenience store locations. The Fix stores are particularly noticeable with excellent branding for their business as well as for Lotto. While Lotto products are available in the relatively small number of newsagency like businesses, the strongest presence I have noticed is these convenience outlets.
Looking at the Fix shop in the photo it is easy to see why it’s considered a good fit for soft gambling. The business is open 24 hours a day, conveniently located, well named and offering brand name products to appeal. Their tag line is: Whatever you need, whatever you crave. I like this shop a lot – it’s modern, clean and well-stocked. If this business was in Australia it would give City Convenience and 7-Eleven a benchmark to aspire to.
But my interest in Fix goes beyond the business itself. I found myself thinking abut the model from the perspective of tatts and their engagement with 7-Eleven and, more recently, Coles Express. I can see why Tatts wants to be in businesses that are more conveniently located and open longer hours. I expect this push for Tatts products to be available everywhere and at any time will gain momentum.
Newsagents have the opportunity to step into this space, to become convenience businesses. However, it’s a big step. Convenience is more competitive than gifts, than traditional newsagency and even than stationery. It’s not a move I’d make but I can see it appealing to some newsagents. For it to work it would need to be done under a national name with solid financial backing to match the noise of the already strong competitors in the space. Moving to convenience alone, as a solo operator, is not a wise move.
Newsagencies strong and profitable with lottery products would be the type that I think could fit the convenience model.