WH Smith is considering dropping sales of National Lottery Instants scratchcards, in favour of the higher margin Scratch ‘n’ Win Lotteries scratchcard games.
The chain says it has axed National Lottery Instants from a number of its stores since they were launched by Camelot in March, as queues to buy cards have interfered with trade.
WH Smith was unable to confirm the number of stores selling Instants.
Next week, the chain will begin piloting sales of Scratch ‘n’ Win games in 20 stores. It will test sales in ten stores which do not sell National Lottery scratchcards, and in ten stores where the cards are sold.
This will enable it to compare sales and margins between the two games. Scratch ‘n’ Win Lotteries cards offer retailers ten
per cent commission, compared with the National Lottery’s five per cent.
A spokesman for the WH Smith says: “The attraction for us is that the Scratch ‘n’ Win games make better margins, although we have to balance this with volume. We will have to assess sales.”
WH Smith already distributes Scratch ‘n’ Win cards to independent retailers through its D Services wholesaling division.
A source close to the deal says: “WH Smith came to Scratch ‘n’ Win and said it was planning to withdraw from National Lottery scratchcards. It wants to try out all sorts of alternatives.”
Scratch ‘n’ Win was set up as a joint venture with US operator Inter Lotto. It has four scratchcard games offering maximum prizes of 75,000 and claims it offers customers a one-in-six chance of winning. It offers 25 per cent of takings to small UK-based charities. It was launched in May by chairman Lord Mancroft, who says its attraction is that customers know which charities funds go to.