Tatts has contacted some agents advising that they will take back a terminal. This advice has come as a shock and raises questions about the future of over the counter lottery sales in small business newsagencies – in the light of the Tatts online push and their apparent commitment to roll the Coles Express trial out further.
Some newsagents who have just completed their tatts required shop fit and included space allocation for two terminals have been told they will now lose a terminal. While it looks like Tatts has the right to do this I would have thought that a small business affected by this could make a case through a tribunal for adjudication.
Newsagents affected and who feel their business will suffer financially as a result of this move ought to consider options to have the matter considered in an appropriate forum. In Victoria the Small Business Commissioner would be the first port of call. In Queensland it would be QCAT. In NSW it would be the CTTT.
From what I have seen, tatts owes its retailers a more fulsome explanation.
Here is what the Lottery retailers Association has sent to its members about this.
This week the Lottery Retailers Association (LRA) has been inundated with calls from members advising that Tatts are in the process of informing some outlets they will be losing a lottery terminal. Members report that this advice has only been given verbally and without warning.
The LRA is greatly concerned that some members report that Tatts has taken this decision without giving full consideration to the retailer’s individual circumstances. Alarmingly, we have been advised this advice has been given to outlets despite the fact that they have just completed, or are in the process of completing a Tatts shop-fit, which is designed to accommodate the current number of terminals. A Tatts shop-fit is one of the most significant investments a retailer will make. The purpose of doing a shop-fit is to help drive additional sales and help the retailer to achieve a fair return on investment. Removing a terminal at this time may put at risk the retailer’s ability to generate the additional sales needed to support this level of investment.
The Tatts franchise agreement allows Tatts to vary the number of lottery terminals at any time, but by usually giving the franchisee twenty business 20 days written notice. Retailers have reported that Tatts are asking retailers to agree to removal within 5 days or they have an option for 20 days.
The LRA would encourage all affected retailers to ensure Tatts provides this notice in writing and setting out in detail why this decision was taken. It is important that you are satisfied Tatts has considered your individual circumstances. If you have been informed by Tatts that you will be losing a terminal and are unhappy with this outcome, please advise our office as soon as possible, as we will be urgently taking this matter up with Tatts.