Swift action is needed to improve support and drive sales for independent retailers, a Camelot manager admitted as he revealed a raft of new measures to be launched by the company.

Speaking exclusively to Retail Newsagent, national sales manager Henry Chambers admitted the company needs to “do more and quickly” for retailers, after tempers flared at the Scottish Grocers Federation’s annual conference last week.

He said the top issues Camelot needs to address include scratchcard shortages, which leave retailers with empty display units, and complaints about difficulties accessing the customer service helpline as well as the costs involved.

“I want to find out what’s making retailers unhappy,” he said. “We want to know how to get retailers engaged and the best way of selling the products.”
Mr Chambers said in response to calls for better commission rates, Camelot is working with Champion Of Small Businesses in January, an incentive scheme aimed at driving sales.
He said: “We need to help retailers make more money so that, in turn, it means greater profit and more money going to good causes.” He emphasised Camelot only receives a minimal amount of money due to being regulated by the Gambling Commission.

John McGowan, of Icon Stores in Aberdeen, said: “I don’t think incentives will make any difference to our sales. We can’t offer anything different to the competitor down the road.”

The launch of a Christmas-themed scratchcard exclusive to the convenience channel was also announced.

However, the news was met with mixed responses when it was revealed it is too big to be displayed in the normal unit, so sales would be driven through PoS material and retailer up-selling. Only stores that met a certain number of Christmas sales last year will have access to the card.

Mr McGowan offers 20 different scratchcards in his store – the maximum amount – but doesn’t believe one which is not on display will work.