Superdrug has switched off its National Lottery machines in three top-performing stores because of disruption caused by long ticket queues.
The decision could jeopardise plans to connect Lottery terminals in other Superdrug stores. The 600-strong chain says it is still reviewing plans for a roll-out of lottery terminals.
Lottery operator Camelot has embarked on the second phase of its plan to install lottery terminals in stores. It has already connected 13,000, and is aiming to link up another 7,000 by the launch of the scratch-card game in March.
The prospect of large chains pulling the plug on Lottery terminals is not an appetising one for the operator.
Superdrug says of the switch-off: “The Lottery created a huge influx of customers and customer service suffered.”
The three stores, in Southend, South Shields and Islington, decided to turn their machines off last Christmas Eve. Now just eight stores are being tested.
In a new twist, Camelot has set up a subsidiary called Camelot Enterprises to promote licensing deals, merchandising and sponsorship of the Lottery.
Robin Bowler, Camelot Enterprises’ sales and marketing manager, says Camelot has received applications from top brands eager to try out joint marketing exercises with the Lottery.
These could include joint promotions, licensing deals and ads on the back of lottery tickets. Bowler says this will amount to a “significant business”, though he would not be drawn on figures.
Bowler was previously Camelot’s marketing services manager. An announcement on his replacement is imminent.
Superdrug has dropped the position of marketing director from its board, following last week’s departure of Kevin McCarten – who has now become trading director at Woolworths. Marketing duties will be taken on by merchandise director Chris Ash, who will take the title of commercial director.