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Tabcorp tells retailers they are important – but actions don’t match words

Mark Fletcher
May 13th, 2020 · 11 Comments

Check out what Tabcorp sent their retailers this week. Yep, they sent this to retailers who are feeling ripped off by this company that absolutely does push online over in-store and pays retailers an offensively small sum for support growing Tabcorp’s online revenue.

Retailers won’t complain publicly because they fear Tabcorp. I don’t care as I don’t have lotteries in my shop.

Here’s the Tabcorp ‘fantasy fiction’ note in full:

Retailer Fast Update – The importance that retail plays within broader marketing channels
COVID-19 has impacted us all in many ways, and as we navigate our way through this uncertain time, rest assured the initiatives we have implemented, support all our channels, including retail.
You may be hearing a lot of talk about customers going online; however, retail sales during these uncertain times have been strong and steady. It is also important to remember the Lott’s omni-channel marketing strategy focuses on the customer and their experience so they can engage with our brand regardless of the channel. Customers, therefore, value their experience rather than a particular single channel, such as online.
Initiatives retailers have taken, such as driving loyalty through our Membership Program and supporting Pay In-store payments (excluding SA) reduce barriers. These initiatives also create the foundation so we can continue to interact with customers, and they can continue to engage with our brand. This helps ensure customers remain connected and have a consistent experience even if they move between channels during this pandemic or during a retailer’s temporary closure.
Retail is core to our omni-channel strategy and will continue to be into the future. Testament to this are the initiatives listed below which continue to support our retail channel. So, while you may hear a lot of talk about a customer going online, rest-assured the efforts you have made to support the Lott’s omni-channel strategy during these times are of benefit. While you might be seeing fewer customers around, those omni-customers will continue to have fun engaging with our brand, looking forward to returning when their favourite retailer reopens.

Actions speak louder than words.

Tabcorp is not fair or transparent with retailers on their much-hyped omnichannel bonus. It’s a flawed approach offering a disrespectful amount to retailers to compensate for then Tabcorp demand that retailers actively promote online.

The Tabcorp TV advertising does mention retail, however, it does not promote it. Listen to the ads carefully, they have been cleverly produced to punch online and the app with retail mentioned briefly as a lead in.

In my opinion, Tabcorp has failed its retailers through COVID-19 but they will not speak up because of threats from the company that come with financial penalty.


Category: Ethics · Social responsibility

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ken // May 13, 2020 at 6:16 AM

    wont give a toss to tabcorp. already moved to better channel in newsagency…already planning business without lotto but remain core to newsagency channel. they seems to giving lotto to every tom dick n harry in th corner.


  • 2 Graeme Day // May 13, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    They are treating Tobacconists as an industry.
    We are getting enquiries for Lotto and Tobacconists as a business to buy


  • 3 Steve // May 14, 2020 at 9:02 AM

    Yes Mark. Whilst parts of Tabcorp’s business are clearly suffering at the moment and will take some time to recover, lotteries remain a shining light for them. Instore lottery sales remain resilient, though with many stores suffering whilst others are up.

    Very disappointing particularly in times like these that Tabcorp continues to treat its loyal and hardworking lotteries franchisees with disdain. Franchisees need to be wary of handing over their goodwill for the benefit of Tabcorp’s online growth without adequate compensation.
    I agree the omni channel penalty stick needs to be looked at carefully by the regulators.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // May 14, 2020 at 9:19 AM

    Unfortunately, Steve, the state / territory governments have demonstrated little appetite for dealing with this issue.

    Tabcorp management has screwed up their response to COVID-19 with retailers. They could have done so much better by pausing compliance requirements and offering modest bonus financial support as retailers put themselves at risk by opening. A bonus 25% bumpy to commission would have, enemy view, generated valuable goodwill and revenue boost to almost fund the actual cost.


  • 5 Graeme Day // May 14, 2020 at 9:57 AM

    They also could have provided clear protective screening for their Counter based retail customers as others have done such as IGA supermarkets etc.
    All take -No give.


  • 6 subaru // May 15, 2020 at 12:14 PM

    Scratchie sales are through the roof because people want a quick fix whilst the pokies are off limits….
    Lets see Tabcorp try to do them online


  • 7 Amanda // May 23, 2020 at 10:11 AM

    I raised similar issues with you hear Mark, 12months ago, only to be ridiculed by you. The omni-channel smoke screen is a scam. You were extremely vocal in your support of this 12months ago. Why are you now changing your stance?


  • 8 Mark Fletcher // May 23, 2020 at 10:18 AM

    Amanda, I did not ridicule you. Your complaint was made prior to implementation. As I said, we needed to see how it worked live. Also, my post is about much more than your comment point.


  • 9 Amanda // May 25, 2020 at 7:37 AM

    I have spoken out here, to ALNA and at the Tabcorp Roadshows about the concerns you have raised above.

    Unfortunately too many Newsagents are either too simple or too naive to see the outcome of the omni-channel bonus.

    And is does not help at all when people whom are known throughout the industry speak out publicly in support of something when they do not fully understand or have not fully educated themselves of the detail of such announcements.

    Furthermore, too much trust is placed in companies whom are called “industry partners”. Tabcorp is in business for its shareholders.That is it.

    Tabcorp have repeatedly refused to give details of the Omni-channel bonus to anybody who has requested. They will not provide details of how it is calculated or the “pool” in each jurisdiction. These details are described as “confidential”.

    So if there is to be no transparency than it is simply a smoke screen to fool retailers.


  • 10 Mark Fletcher // May 25, 2020 at 7:42 AM

    Wow Amanda, lots o=f name calling there. Also, misrepresentation.

    What ALNA representatives and what I said was let’s see how it works. Given the lack of detail and the refusal to provide details and given that Tabcorp refused to negotiate at that time, it was a reasonable approach.

    Now the data is in, a case can be made. However, for that to happy people (you) actually have to get involved and support the one association that has ACCC legitimacy to negotiate, ALNA.

    Complaining from the sidelines is easy. Supporting a common approach is hard.

    Speaking personally, however, I don’t have lotteries in my Melbourne newsagencies and never will. Once was enough. I prefer to have control over may business.


  • 11 Graeme Day // May 25, 2020 at 8:03 AM

    Amanda, There is no doubt that many newsagents are upset with Tabcorp for many self justified and some industry justified reasons.
    Omni Channel is such a case. Mark has outlined them item by item.
    Many I can’t say most however I will over 50% of the newsagents I deal with, especially Country NSW they are getting full omni points. They are on Green.
    Tabcorp is refinanciong there own lot at te moment Their income from Gaming has gone through the floor. The income I’m referring to is Sports betting (from mobile and tele accounts) Tab horse racing (retail from Pubs and TAB offices) both of these have ad their actual performances in lockdown Lotteries are the ownly income covering all their overheads.
    Shareholder company or not they haven’t looked after the “Franchisee” Lottery outlet perse as others have. No protection screens come to mind etc.for their very fortunate classification of being able to trade as an essentail service.
    They showed no responsibility in this matter toward the Community at large and this belies the “essential” part of their service to the larger community.
    Other than that we should be thankful tat all have been trying and we are better off from the enormous cooperation evreybody has shown thus far since COVID 19 Long way to go I just hope we don’t take on complacency as our allie and we do maintain our spirit for we need to soldier on -happily.


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