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Are lottery jackpots good for business?

oz50m.jpgI was talking to a colleague about the OzLotto $50 million jackpto earlier this week who said that his experience was that in weeks with major lottery jackpots, sales were significantly down in other departments of newspapers, magazines, stationery and cards. This has not been my my experience.  I see growth in key departments as a result of the additional traffic.  I had not considered that jackpots may have a negative effect.

Through the course of the week I asked other newsagents.  Some see growth in other departments as a result of jackpot traffic while others do not.

I’d be interest to hear the experiences of others.  I’d like to see if there is a pattern around those newsagencies which experience growth in other departments as a result of a lottery jackpot and those which do not.

I’d also welcome speculation as to a reason for the difference.

For what its worth, in my own newsagency we work hard at driving lottery sales as an add-on to other departments.  We are equally focused on driving add-on sales of magazines, newspapers, confectionery and other items on a lottery sale.  We d this through product placement, traffic management and across the counter pitch.

I am not saying that our experience is solely due to our effort.  I am not that arrogant.  I think that demographic plays a role as does store location.  Demographic because of the discretionary funds available.  Location because of traffic – our traffic is quite steady through the day.  I can see that if we were in a better location we would have lines snaking out the door and that would put people off.

What are your experiences?


Join the discussion

  1. Luke

    Because everyone is excited about lotto if you are not carefull it can take over your shop. You need to not allow lotto to take up all your time and space, what we do is allocate one staff member to lotto exclusively while the other staff operate the rest of the shop. We find this helps us capitalise on the increased store traffic and get good sales across all areas.
    On the down side I have seen newsagents focus on lotto at the expense of other areas and this causes customers to avoid these newsagents.


  2. Brad

    We are seeing increase sales in mags and papers. Both products are in close to the lotto counter. Cards and instants have taken a slight dip. Stationery, Art, Ink are about the same if not a little up.
    We have also created a much larger range of syndicates whihc has brought people from other areas. For 20 mil we are running a sys 20 @ $400 plus a share down to a number of 50 mil syndicates from $150-$25. We have found it is vital to have a range of syndicates to show the lotto customer we are serious about lotto. We have of course run the large dollar syndicate with other newsagents to reduce risk.


  3. Wendy

    Usually for a big draw (over $10 mill), we find increases across the board due to increased traffic. This week has not been so, despite the increased traffic. Lotto is definately up, but nearly every other area has dropped off slightly. Only newspapers remain steady and scratch-its have increased by almost 20%. We are on a busy main road heading into the city with regular morning traffic (truckies, labourers and shift workers via car/truck) and, more recently, regular late afternoon traffic (students, office workers, etc via train). For the recent big draws, we have changed the majority of store displays/posters to highlight the lotto jackpots, so maybe that could account for the drop in other sales. Should we try a customer survey to find out?


  4. Luke

    After today’s sales we have seen a 20% lift across most departments for the week as well as a huge lift in lotto. We are running a few promotions in relation to our marketing group and with the increase in traffic we are seeing great $$$.


  5. CraigL

    These jackpots are a godsend. Whilst our newsagency sales don’t vary that much, our Lotto takings go ballistic. Interstingly other retailers have complained about poor sales today. Presumably $20 million dollars is more important to customers than food.


  6. Jarryd Moore

    We almost always see growth in some departments during a jackpot period – magazines and newspapers especially(we’ve sold out of half our major weekly mags this week).

    We also use jackpots as an opportunity to introduce new products and promotions. We started a book promotion and stocktake sale on Monday and the increased traffic from the OZ jackpot has certainly helped these promotions get maximum initial exposure (and very strong sales).


  7. Mark

    Yesterday, we recorded a stellar day for lottery sales. Leveraging this traffic, all departments were up on a Saturday average, some up as much as 50%. The key is for the shop to be configured to leverage this bonus traffic.


  8. Tim

    My experience is that growth in other areas only occurs if we prepare well by setting up as much add on / impulse stock near the lottery counter. Most people will buy their ticket(s) then walk stright out, so you have to put it under their noses.


  9. Michael

    Yes and No.

    I’ve had times when it has and hasn’t.

    Last week I was down %wise on everything except magazines 15%up and Lotto 125% up over the week.

    There’s pros and cons with the increased traffic I’ve found.


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