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N.J. mom-and-pop lottery retailers worried about competition

New Jersey LotteryNew Jersey Lottery: N.J. mom-and-pop lottery retailers worried about competition

Buying a lottery ticket when picking up a quart of milk might be par for the course. But if a state marketing plan is enacted, customers soon might buy tickets while purchasing furniture and home goods, too.

To raise more revenue, state Senate President Richard J. Codey, D-Essex, is proposing that the state encourage big stores to sell New Jersey Lottery tickets, including Target, Home Depot and Dunkin' Donuts. Normally the domain of smaller convenience stores and food markets, lottery sales are not banned in larger stores, but the plan seeks to expand ticket sales to those retailers.

The proposed expansion raises the question of whether the approach will hurt smaller stores that rely on the lottery to draw customers into their stores.

"That sounds like the state of New Jersey. They'll sell lottery everywhere," said Dino Delprete, owner of Dino's Deli & Subs in Egg Harbor Township.

Local store managers who sell lottery tickets say there's always competition, whether from chain stores or grocery stores.

"It won't make an impact to the point where I'd go outside and scream," said Ken Patel, manager of a 7-Eleven store in Northfield. "It won't make a difference." He pointed out that lottery tickets are already sold at larger venues like ShopRite and Genuardi's.

"People sell lottery tickets down the street," Delprete said. "The impact is when they start selling them and then people eventually go back to where they used to buy them. People leave but then they come back."

Since Delprete's store sells groceries and deli food along with lottery tickets, any loss from ticket sales wouldn't hurt him as much as a retailer whose main products include lottery tickets. Still, he cites the location of his store as a prime factor.

"We're a mom-and-pop store," Delprete said. "Those Wal-Marts and stuff are 10 miles away. Where it would affect people are people that are close to those places."

Stephon Hunter, manager of Allstar Liquors on Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City, agrees.

"I'm in Atlantic City so it's not going to affect me," Hunter said. "I'm for the revenue if it's going to bring taxes down." He said he might have another opinion if he was actually in close proximity to a Target or Wal-Mart that might sell lottery tickets under Codey's plan.

The case is the same at Pleasantville Check Cashing & Lottery, where most customers live locally and the nearest Target is 20 minutes away, store employees said.

Yet residents of local suburbs, such as Louis Monzo of Galloway Township, said picking up the tickets would be easier if it could be made a part of their routine.

"You don't always want to run to the liquor store just to get lottery tickets," Monzo said as he was finishing his shopping at Target in Mays Landing with Kathy Oliver, also of Galloway Township. "We're in Target and Wal-Mart at least once a week."

"I hate going to the liquor store," Oliver said. Both said they would likely buy tickets more often if they were sold at bigger stores they frequent.

Angela Callari, of Absecon, agreed that having lottery tickets available at the store would save her an extra trip.

"I'd buy them anywhere," Callari said. "Just for the convenience of it. I don't think it would hurt."

Codey has talked about offering big stores lottery games tailored to their businesses, like scratch-offs that offer store discounts to winners. While convenience stores, liquor stores and local independent stores are known for selling lottery tickets, those shopping the big stores maintained the effect of widening ticket sales would be minimal.

"I think it's a different clientele," said Elizabeth Little, of Brigantine.

Stewart Holzman, of Penns Grove, said he would buy lottery tickets anywhere they're sold.

"There are too many people; why would it take away business?" Holzman said.

"People will buy them any place they can get the lottery tickets," said Frank Vecchiarello, of Marlton. "They'll probably sell more lottery tickets that way."

Press of Atlantic City

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17 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by murph1226.
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Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
Jefferson City, MO
United States
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September 20, 2007
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Posted: April 14, 2008, 10:20 am - IP Logged

This is an interesting article.  Usually retailers complain that they don't get a big enough cut (think Oklahoma) or that it costs more than they make.  When threatened by a loss of business they might have a different take. 

I'm not surprised to see Lotteries branch out.  It makes sense to spread the selling base and get into stores that won't be affected by the increasing price and decreasing sales of gasoline.  I'd expect this to become a trend in all states, as long as they can work out the details.  Wal-Mart has been reluctant to align itself with Lotteries, and few of those types of places want the extra work for their clerks.  Kiosks sound probable... 

Captain Lotto

"Every day is a good day!"

    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
    mid-Ohio
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    Posted: April 14, 2008, 1:25 pm - IP Logged

    Mom and Pop stores lottery tickets sales are hurt more when they can't cash their customers' winning tickets because they don't carry enough money to cash the larger winners.

     * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
       
                 Evil Looking       

      JustFrozen's avatar - scenery water_mountains.jpg
      OC, CALI
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      March 19, 2008
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      Posted: April 14, 2008, 1:33 pm - IP Logged

      Business is business and my take is that this is more than fair. Plus it is better for the consumer, for he/she is able to get tickets wherever he/she may be.

        ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
        Idaho
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        November 21, 2007
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        Posted: April 14, 2008, 3:08 pm - IP Logged

        I think it's a good idea. If these tickets were sold in places like Walmart, Target, etc. I think sales may go up a bit. People who otherwise would not buy tickets and who do their regular shopping at one of these places, might end up buying a few tickets after they're finished shopping.

        "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

          dingo's avatar - lottery of-birth.jpg
          San Jose, California
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          Posted: April 14, 2008, 4:20 pm - IP Logged

          It's not fun to buy tickets at Walmart, Target, or Home Depot. I bought Superlotto Plus at shopping mall and Sears before. Nothing is special.

          There's is no bell ring sound when step into the store.Jester Laugh

           

            Avatar
            Kentucky
            United States
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            Posted: April 14, 2008, 6:56 pm - IP Logged

            I think it's a good idea. If these tickets were sold in places like Walmart, Target, etc. I think sales may go up a bit. People who otherwise would not buy tickets and who do their regular shopping at one of these places, might end up buying a few tickets after they're finished shopping.

            In most mom and pops and convenient stores the lottery terminal is strategically placed near or between the cash registers. Grocery stores usually have the lottery terminal at the service desk and Wal Mart, Target, Best Buys, or Bed Bath and Beyond probably would too.

            I think an occasional player is more likely to buy tickets after purchasing gas, smokes, beer, soda, bread or, milk at a convenient store than standing in a second line with a cart full of paid items to buy lottery tickets at a Wal Mart or Victoria's Secrets.

              TheGameGrl's avatar - character catafly.jpg
              A long and winding road
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              Posted: April 14, 2008, 8:32 pm - IP Logged

              I concur 110% with Rjoh's statement. Mom and Pop shops neednt fear, sharing is the goal.

               I commend the state for seeing an opportunity to expand and reach more players. More players means more revenue. More revenue means possibly higher jackpots.

              ~~Is it true, Is it kind,Is it necessary. ~~~

              christmas holly jolly numbers: 255,303,6911, 474,477 silver:47,gold:79.

                JordanT1021's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                North Carolina
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                Posted: April 15, 2008, 11:30 am - IP Logged

                i don't see no worries. i have had more winners in mom and pop stores than food lion or lowes food, but that could just be my timing

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
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                  Posted: April 15, 2008, 12:03 pm - IP Logged

                  In my state stores like Walmart, Target and Meijer have similar size stores and target the same markets, yet Meijer is the only one selling lottery tickets.  Since these stores are often in the same shopping area, I assumed the ones nothing selling lottery tickets made a conscience decision not to do so.

                  In my home town after Walmart came to town a few mom and pa stores selling lottery tickets went under but it wasn't because Walmart took their lottery business.

                   * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                     
                               Evil Looking       

                    ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
                    Idaho
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                    Posted: April 15, 2008, 2:14 pm - IP Logged

                    In most mom and pops and convenient stores the lottery terminal is strategically placed near or between the cash registers. Grocery stores usually have the lottery terminal at the service desk and Wal Mart, Target, Best Buys, or Bed Bath and Beyond probably would too.

                    I think an occasional player is more likely to buy tickets after purchasing gas, smokes, beer, soda, bread or, milk at a convenient store than standing in a second line with a cart full of paid items to buy lottery tickets at a Wal Mart or Victoria's Secrets.

                    I disagree. I think if they are set up in stores like Walmart and they are convienently located, that they would sell a good amount of tickets to those regular players.

                    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                      Badger's avatar - adu50016 NorthAmericanBadger.jpg
                      Wisconsin
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                      Posted: April 15, 2008, 5:09 pm - IP Logged

                      Since Delprete's store sells groceries and deli food along with lottery tickets, any loss from ticket sales wouldn't hurt him as much as a retailer whose main products include lottery tickets. Still, he cites the location of his store as a prime factor.

                      I don't know any retailer here whose main products include lottery tickets.  They'd go out of business in a hurry, since, last I heard, the retailers here only get 5 cents per ticket they sell.

                      THe whole idea here of being a lottery ticket outlet is to attract people that come in and buy other thins with the lottery.  But with the price of gas now where it is, fewer and fewer people are making "impulse purchases".  When it costs them 80-100 bucks to fill their SUV tank, they have to drop buying impulse items. And things they need they shop elsewhere for, always looking for a sale.

                      ============

                      How can you tell if a politician is lying?

                      Answer: His lips are moving.

                        Captain Lotto's avatar - CaptLotto
                        Jefferson City, MO
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                        Posted: April 15, 2008, 5:36 pm - IP Logged

                        There are several places in the big cities that specialize in lottery products.  It may not seem like much, but a 5% margin is pretty good, especially in the grocery business.  They do much better on big ticket items like meat, but things like can goods have even smaller margins. 

                        Consider this- the retailer earns a dollar for selling one $20 ticket.  In a C-store, a lottery product might offer the best return on shelf space in the store. 

                        Captain Lotto

                        "Every day is a good day!"

                          Avatar
                          Kentucky
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                          Posted: April 15, 2008, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

                          I disagree. I think if they are set up in stores like Walmart and they are convienently located, that they would sell a good amount of tickets to those regular players.

                          If Wal Mart put lottery terminals in most of the checkout lines with the usual jackpot and scratch-off ads, it would be hard for an occasional player to miss them. But part of their marketing is to put smaller products where people have access to them while they are waiting in line. We have some huge super markets with lots of traffic that only have one lottery terminal at the service desk. The Wal Marts near me cash paychecks where people return and exchange merchandise and that's where they would probably put a lottery terminal.

                          You mentioned something about more tickets sales, but as a regular player I would have no reason to buy more tickets because stores like Wal Mart sold them; especially on Thursday and Friday when there is a long line of people cashing paychecks. I believe the reason my state lottery has terminals in 8 stores within a mile of my home is because of the extra play from occasional players. And if Wal Mart wanted to sell lottery ticket, they would already be doing that and it would have to be easy access to the occasional player if the reason is increased ticket sales.

                            Avatar
                            Kentucky
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                            Posted: April 15, 2008, 5:55 pm - IP Logged

                            Since Delprete's store sells groceries and deli food along with lottery tickets, any loss from ticket sales wouldn't hurt him as much as a retailer whose main products include lottery tickets. Still, he cites the location of his store as a prime factor.

                            I don't know any retailer here whose main products include lottery tickets.  They'd go out of business in a hurry, since, last I heard, the retailers here only get 5 cents per ticket they sell.

                            THe whole idea here of being a lottery ticket outlet is to attract people that come in and buy other thins with the lottery.  But with the price of gas now where it is, fewer and fewer people are making "impulse purchases".  When it costs them 80-100 bucks to fill their SUV tank, they have to drop buying impulse items. And things they need they shop elsewhere for, always looking for a sale.

                            The other day when I was buying lottery tickets, the guy in line behind me was holding money so I asked if he was buying gas and told him go in front of me. He handed the clerk $80 for a fill-up and didn't come back for change. The price of oil hit another record high today and if something doesn't happen, lots of businesses will be hurting.