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How Tatts treats small business retailers

Mark Fletcher
January 12th, 2016 · 22 Comments

Check out this communication from Tatts to newsagent retailers:

Dear Retailer

Please be advised that Tatts Lotteries have outsourced the Responsible Play Audit and Retail Standards Reviews that were previously the responsibility of the Retail Territory Manager.  These survey audits are now conducted by an external company, Market Pulse, and are being rolled out across all Tatts Lotteries jurisdictions.

The surveys have been conducted on the Gold Coast and Brisbane CBD over the past 3-6 months and will be commencing in our area very shortly. These will be unannounced visitations and will occur on a minimum cycle of once every three months.  Retailers that do not show compliance to our retail standards will be visited more frequently.

It has been identified some stores are placing non-Golden Casket items in the dedicated Retail Image area.  This includes pens, key rings, magazines, confectionary stands, torches, postcards, drinking straws, etc. being positioned on the serving counter, bag rail, or spinner units and also allowing dump bins to block access to the counter or writing bench.

Please be reminded it is against your Tatts Lotteries Franchise Agreement to display non-Golden Casket items in the dedicated Retail Image area.   I bring this specifically to your attention as this will be checked during the visits and non-adherence to policy may result in possible breaches, non-renewal of franchise agreements, or in the worst case scenario, termination of your franchise agreement.

Market Pulse will also have the current Point of Sale planner off Retailers Web to check that your outlet is displaying the current marketing focus.  In addition, they will check that all lottery brochures, coupons and result slips are on display on your writing bench.

Audit results will be forwarded to the Tatts Group Senior Management Team and I will be following up retailers once results are received.

To ensure your visits are fully compliant, I ask that you check your Golden Casket area now and identify and remove anything that is not compliant.   If required, please order in any items as necessary through your Lotto Terminal to ensure the retail standards are being met.

Please find attached above the Responsible Play Audit checklist and Retail Standards Review for your reference.

Thank you for your assistance.

I wonder of Coles Express is treated the same.

retail space is expensive. The demands of Tatts that you not use ‘their’ space (for which they do not pay you) to only promote their product holds retailers back from maximising the opportunity.

The only test tatts should apply is are you performing at or above average in your area. How you do this should be up to you as the retailer.

This communication is paternalistic and disrespectful in my view.


Category: Leadership · Lotteries · Newsagent representation

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carol // Jan 12, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Lot of place use secret shoppers. You won’t know you are being shopped. I thought Lotto already did this in larger cities to test staff product knowledge. The banks and servos, Caltex, Mobile, IGA etc, use secret shoppers to report if they give the right information, if their counter is tidy, if the current promotional lines are being displayed etc. I don’t like it but I was a secret shopper for while and it is amazing how bad service and compliance was in some establishments. I had a phone call and was asked to do the job but I hated spying on people that I know so I only did a few jobs then gave it up.


  • 2 Russell // Jan 12, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Secret shoppers and auditors are reporting on two different agendas. I would have no problem with Tatts sending in secret shoppers. It would help me identify problems that I haven’t picked up and strengthen the sale of the product.
    Auditors that walk in unannounced and report on ‘foreign objects’ that are in the confides of their ‘locked in real estate’, within the square mtrs of my business, I have a problem with.


  • 3 Mark Richardson // Jan 12, 2016 at 3:16 PM

    Not only do they walk in unanounced they do not ask for the business owner ,they will just deal with whoever is there at the time .

    I wouldn’t mind so much if all retailers were on the same playing field but that is not the case

    Very unprofessional


  • 4 Melissa // Jan 13, 2016 at 6:39 AM

    Its about time that they drive some level of consistency and compliance with newsagents, for too long have some newsagents been allowed to get away with poor standards and traditional thinking bringing my image down along with the rest of the newsagenxy channel who are trying to move with the times…..


  • 5 Paul // Jan 13, 2016 at 6:44 AM

    I had one of these surprise mystery audits last month and received 96%. Tickled pink with a thank you letter from my casket rep so was able to recognise and reward my staff for doing a great job.


  • 6 david@anglevalenews // Jan 13, 2016 at 10:38 PM

    Mark R, I think that is the whole point. It is no good if only the business owner knows everything, your staff should also be fully aware of lottery requirements. If not, then it is a reflection on you and your staff training. I could not leave my business in the hands of someone who was incapable of doing everything required.

    I often come back to a “I did this, I hope it was OK” and the only answer is “If I told you not to do it, you were wrong. In the absence of a clear instruction from me, you were right”.

    I always pass my audits so I don’t see this as a problem.


  • 7 Mark Fletcher // Jan 14, 2016 at 3:20 AM

    When I had Tatts (for 12 or so years) it frustrated me that they would assess in a paternalistic and selfish way. There was no consideration of sales growth first – as should be the case. Gee, if your sales are the best in your region then you should be able to do what you like as far as I am concerned.


  • 8 allan wickham // Jan 14, 2016 at 9:15 AM

    Tatts to their credit dropped the term “Agents” and started using “Retailer”, a move I thought was great but this type of big brother behavior does not treat us as “Retailers”.

    I agree with Melissa`s comments that there are too many bad agents bringing down the channel as a whole and they need to be brought into line with some form of compliance but why include those of us that do the right thing the majority of the time?
    I like Marks thoughts…..if you are doing a great job with the sales to prove it then you should be left to do exactly that. After all it is sales growth Tatts is chasing.

    Let me be a “Retailer” in every sense of the word.


  • 9 Mark Richardson // Jan 14, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    David if you read Mark’s post on the 6th of January, regarding Tatts, you will see all my comments

    My main concern is that Tatts are not treating all retailers equally . The On The Run group here in SA do not have to meet the same standards as Newsagents with regards to audits and fit out, yet they are our opposition.

    OTR can sell other product on their counter and on their scratches bench . This is prime retail real estate .

    Good on you for passing all your audits I hope you continue to do so


  • 10 Brett // Jan 14, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Seems to me that if a secret shopper walks in, and can see straight away that the retailer is good then they should just walk away. If the retailer has a shabby shop then the shopper has a job to do.


  • 11 Peter // Jan 7, 2020 at 1:05 PM

    How about a recommendation go to Tatts that only Retailers that are not preforming to the industry average.
    Leave the good Retailers to there own devices. And target the poor achievers.
    I believe there is a hidden agenda.
    Tatts keep raising the compliance bar and therefore making acheivment harder and then we loose money and Tatts gains.
    My Thoughts,


  • 12 Graeme Day // Jan 7, 2020 at 9:42 PM

    Tatt’s is a Franchise and Franchises have criteria and structure which are proven. The Franchise is a discipline that is conistent with the consumer. Their message is simple if you’re not happy with the return you get and don’t want to “go with the flow” then either perform or get out.
    Independent retailers may find this hard to take however the Publishers in their hey day were much more severe than this.
    Times change and we retailers must go with the times or pitch to market for our future. expecting change from suppliers espescially Franchises who have very solid written performance contracts that you sign to change is not going to happen.
    My advice is to adapt and use this in house franchise in a most beneficial and friendly way to make more money by introducing their customers to other product instore thus making more sales.


  • 13 James // Jan 8, 2020 at 8:23 AM

    Lets face it. The Tatts in Servos is a three times failed experiment and no more than an outlet fee grab from Tatts. I seriously doubt whether any of those outlets is making a meaningful dollar out of having Tatts in their Servo and I reckon most would be in the red.
    7-11 tried it and ditched it, Coles Express tried it and ditched it, and noe Woolies/EuroGarage are the bunnies. Their 25 outlets in Vic are all at the tail end of the rankings and I think the best is about 710 or thereabouts.
    Tatts would do well in their Omnichannel strategy to concentrate on having fewer, better appointed and staffed bricks and mortar outlets rather than just chasing outlet fees.


  • 14 Graeme Day // Jan 8, 2020 at 10:35 AM

    James, It’s the same in NSW 3 time a failure twice acknowledged as such the Woolorths one will go the same way. it can’t be for extra revenue just a market to get extra conversion to on line.


  • 15 Mark Fletcher // Jan 8, 2020 at 12:08 PM

    Tabcorp (TheLott) is enjoying extraordinary success with On The Run as I have noted here previously. It is a model both companies appear to like as well as consumers.

    Convenience is not the growth channel, however. That is online, as the Tabcorp annual and six monthly reports indicate.

    Achieving upside from lottery revenue in physical retail is challenging.


  • 16 Mark // Jan 8, 2020 at 12:53 PM

    Nearly all On The Run outlets are performing poorly with regards to Tatts sales , this comes from Tatts own sales rankings


  • 17 Graeme Day // Jan 8, 2020 at 1:32 PM

    Mark, individually and most the majority of newsagents are substantially up Y.O.Y both Financial Year and from all records I have seen so far the same applies to the Calendar Year ending December 31 2019 TabCorp show a growth as a percentage in On Line incomparison within the “pie” please don’t confuse this with the amount that the ‘Pie’ has grown as it has and therefore newsagents are doing far better than before.
    Ask the question/ is anyone out there further behind last years figures or in front?


  • 18 Joe // Jan 8, 2020 at 1:43 PM

    Not true Graeme. Read the annual report.


  • 19 Graeme Day // Jan 8, 2020 at 5:40 PM

    Joe, All I can say is that Y.O.Y. retail newsagents I deal with lots of them are up on the previous year.
    Maybe some will verify this here. I did download the TabCorp Report and maybe I found it a bit understated about the retail however plenty about online. TabCorp like many on line suppilers to retailers are in competition with them of that there is no doubt however competition is what it is about.


  • 20 Graeme Day // Jan 9, 2020 at 5:18 AM

    Joe, i try not to make statements that are not right or of fact. Sometimes I go by memory and this time I did. I am correct.
    I refer you to page 14 of Tabcorp Annual Report 2019 downloaded Lotteries and Ken Business.
    Digital turnover was up a record73.5% representing 23.5% (FY 18:16.8% OF TOTAL lOTTERIES TURNOVER and Digital momentum is continuing.
    RETAIL turnover grew by 17.7%
    I rechecked my figures and a majority of my sample were up for this period 20% approx.
    Joe this is what I stated. this means in the total pie B&M Sales amount to a massive 76.5% of the take. Hardly a shrinking market.


  • 21 Mark Fletcher // Jan 9, 2020 at 6:51 AM

    Online revenue for TheLott increased 39.8% in FY2018/19 over FY2017/18.

    I know of newsagents who have enjoyed revenue growth. It is rare this is beyond 10%. It usually related to local factors.

    I know of newsagents who have experienced revenue decline. This is usually between 5% and 7%.

    I don’t know of any newsagent achieving the extraordinary double-digit year on year revenue growth TheLott has achieved in recent years.

    That is the point here.

    Reference: page 15.


  • 22 Graeme Day // Jan 9, 2020 at 10:30 AM

    I am quoting the same page Iguess it’s up to other people to read it as it is. I have quoted the whole statement as written.


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