Camelot, operator of The National Lottery, today announced retailer satisfaction scores of 75% for 2021/22, rising to 78%* in the last quarter of the year (January to March 2022). This is its highest satisfaction score in a decade – last matched during the dizzy heights of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which received significant National Lottery funding. In total, 95% of National Lottery retailers surveyed were either satisfied or very satisfied with the level of service provided.

The steady increase in retailer satisfaction can be traced back to Camelot’s wide-ranging strategic review that it carried out back in 2017, which has now resulted in four and a half years of National Lottery sales growth. As a result of the review, Camelot doubled the size of its sales force in order to increase face-to-face visits and forge stronger relationships with its retail partners. At the same time, it also committed to investing £20 million in retail initiatives designed to boost levels of engagement and improve in-store display, merchandising and game availability – all of which has helped retailers to make the very most of having The National Lottery in their stores.

The positive response comes off the back of a tough period for retailers, owing to the pandemic and difficult economic conditions. Fortunately, more than 90% of Camelot’s retail partners continued to trade through the lockdown periods and the company adapted its plans to support retailers – particularly small, independent shops – making their safety a priority.

A focus on investing in technology and digital innovation in recent years – for example, re-launching its National Lottery Retailer Hub in 2018 and enhancing it during the pandemic to provide more resources and training – also stood the company in good stead during the period. Also at the heart of Camelot’s pandemic response in retail was uninterrupted phone and virtual support for National Lottery retailers, as well as flexible payment terms and individual support on financial elements of retailer contracts. The company also threw its support behind the NFRN’s COVID-19 relief fund, the SGF Retailer Support Fund and GroceryAid – helping to support retailers facing tough times.

In addition, Camelot adapted its retailer rewards programme, Site, Stock, Sell, so that retailers could still take part and earn rewards remotely during the pandemic – providing a vital source of income for small independent retailers in particular. These rewards were also boosted, with £20,000 in quarterly prizes – rather than £10,000 – and more chances to earn and win rewards. Camelot’s rewards programme has been a key driver of the recent increase in retailer satisfaction, and has provided £2.8 million in rewards since its launch in 2018.

More recently, Camelot has partnered with agency, Shepper, to use pioneering Artificial Intelligence (AI) to gain real-time insight by utilising photo-to-data conversion to review point of sale and Scratchcard availability in National Lottery retailers. This helps monitor compliance and in-store standards, and ensures Camelot can provide additional support to retailers where necessary and help them to maximise sales opportunities, while also improving retailer efficiencies and more.

Meanwhile, initiatives that raise awareness of the incredible difference that National Lottery retailers and players make by selling and buying tickets – such as campaigns to help National Lottery retailers showcase the amount raised for National Lottery Good Causes by store, as well as increased in-store activity around key national moments, like the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games – have also contributed to the 10-year high in National Lottery retailer satisfaction scores.

One of the National Lottery retailers surveyed commented, “The best thing about working with Camelot is the turnover! Even during difficult times in the last two years, you can rely on The National Lottery to bring in a steady income for us, especially when we’ve been quiet.”

“Our rep is always on hand to answer my phone calls. When I had an issue with my terminal, they were there – helping through it all over the phone. Issues are resolved really quickly, which is a relief,” said another respondent.

Another National Lottery retailer added, “Our rep is fantastic. They were always good at giving us what we need – for example new signage when we need it. They’re always happy to help us whenever we need a hand, and we also got some fleeces through the post!”

Welcoming the results, Camelot’s Retail Director, Jenny Blogg said: “Our 44,000 retail partners play an absolutely vital role as the face of The National Lottery for players in communities across the UK. So, it’s amazing to see that all of the initiatives we’ve introduced in recent years to make things better for our retail partners are paying off. It’s particularly impressive in light of the ongoing challenging conditions that retailers are experiencing”

“Our retail partners have shown so much dedication in driving National Lottery sales – and, in turn, returns to Good Causes – and even more so when the going got tough. We are incredibly thankful to them for their support and will continue to do everything we can to keep satisfaction levels high.”

*Average % of retailers who were either ‘completely satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ when surveyed by Camelot.