25 years at the forefront of retail

25 years at the forefront of retail

Head of sales at Camelot, James Dunbar, explains how The National Lottery will continue to support the retail community in Northern Ireland in 2020.

2019 was a standout year for Camelot as the company celebrated 25 years as the operator of the National Lottery in the UK. To mark the occasion, Camelot launched a special 25th Birthday Scratchcard which gives players the best chance of winning £25 on a National Lottery Scratchcard; a 25 UK Millionaires EuroMillions draw, which made an amazing 25 millionaires in one night; and a £25m Must Be Won Lotto draw that took place on November 23.

“We wanted to celebrate with everyone who helped make The National Lottery what it is today and retailers have been a key part of that,” says James Dunbar, who recently took over the role of head of sales at Camelot. “That’s why we’ve put on a number of celebratory draws and games that will help drive footfall and sales in retail.”

Camelot also thanked retailers for their work in helping raise £40bn for Good Causes, by sending out posters to all 44,000 retailers – personalised to show how much each one has raised for Good Causes. The 3,000 retailers who helped raise over £1m received Good Causes’ plaques.

Over the past 25 years, National Lottery retailers have helped support more than 565,000 Good Causes projects and raised over £40bn for the charity. This means, on average, over the last 25 years, £1m has been allocated to Good Causes in Northern Ireland each week

“The National Lottery has had an incredible 25 years, raising tens of billions for Good Causes, making over 5,500 millionaires from £73bn in total prize money, and paying out over £6.7bn in commission to Camelot retail partners,” says James.

“But even with The National Lottery in its best-ever shape, as we approach the start of the fourth National Lottery licence competition, we know there is much work still to do to build on these extraordinary achievements. So our main focus in 2020 will be on continuing the great work we’ve been doing over the last few years and building on the strong foundations we’ve worked so hard to put in place.

“Retail will continue to be a major factor in our plans. Our fantastic Retail Sales Teams – who are out there day in, day out supporting retailers – will continue their excellent work across the UK. We will also continue improving our helpful tools, like the Camelot Retail Hub; and carry on delivering best-in-class retailer initiatives.”

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To mark the 25th birthday of The National Lottery, a group of lucky winners from Northern Ireland gathered at the part lottery-funded Titanic Belfast where they posed for a unique celebratory photo on the famous Titanic Staircase.

Last year, Camelot introduced its Retail Hub which offers retailers a digital platform from which they can access the latest National Lottery news, training content, Bonus Events, and store-specific information. It not only helps store owners maximise sales, but also gives them a valuable resource which they can use easily on mobile or desktop.

“Since we launched the Hub, retailer feedback has been very positive, and this is reflected in the 14,000 registrations and huge numbers of visits to the site to date.

“Retailers are taking advantage of the ease with which they can participate in Bonus Events and claim rewards, and this shows in the fact retailers who are signed up to the Retailer Hub are performing really well. The next stage will be to develop the Hub to serve up more tailored content to different types of retailers and across different geographical locations,” says James.

As well as improving its experiences overall, Camelot has been concentrating specifically on retailers in this country, of which there are 1,300 National Lottery partners. Adding 50 per cent more retail sales executives in Northern Ireland has enabled The National Lottery to increase its presence in the region and to extend its support to its retailers on a one-to-one basis.

James also tells NR that Camelot’s in-store standards programme Site, Stock, Sell has been performing particularly well.

“It’s a credit to our retailers in Northern Ireland that they are currently performing ahead of the UK national average with 72.4 per cent of Northern Ireland retailers scoring eight, nine or 10 – out of 10. What’s more, our insight shows us that retailers who improve their standards in-store not only earn great rewards through our incentive program, but also boost their sales and earn more commission.”

Also seeing a positive performance in the region, is one of Camelot’s key player protection programmes in retail – Operation Child. The mystery shopper programme designed to prevent underage play is now ahead of target in Northern Ireland, as is the rest of the UK.

Describing this as a “real success story”, James attributes a number of factors to the high pass rate; including providing retailers with full support with additional store visits and a training programme that equips them with the tools to help minimise problem play in store. Refreshed leaflets have been sent to the entire retail estate and new literature on the subject has been made available in a range of formats. The campaign has also been supported in Northern Ireland through Camelot’s partnerships with Retail NI and Neighbourhood Retailer.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all of our retailers in Northern Ireland. Not only are they helping us to provide a safe place for National Lottery players to play, as shown by the excellent Operation Child results, but they are constantly raising the bar when it comes to in store standards, which is evident from the recent high scores for Site, Stock Sell.

“None of this would have been achievable without the support of our retail partners in Northern Ireland.”

As for the wider business, in 2020 Camelot will continue to ramp up to next year’s Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“We have exciting plans lined up to ensure we continue to grow sales in a socially responsible way so that the National Lottery continues to enhance the lives of people and communities throughout the UK in the years ahead,” concludes James.