Independent retailers could lose thousands of pounds of income as the mobile phone networks and Lottery operator Camelot prepare to deliver products through cash machines.

Camelot is to start feasibility studies to see if ATMs will support sales of Lottery tickets, threatening retailers’ 5% commission on tickets, and impulse sales.

And mobile networks are getting ready to sell airtime through cashpoint machines, which will again take away impulse sales and retailers’ margins on top-up sales, which have already dropped from 16% in 1999 to as low as 4% now.

Vodafone and Moneybox will pioneer the mechanism through Moneybox’s Link ATM network. Many Moneybox ATMs are in c-stores, but commission on sales through the ATM will be much lower than current levels.

For more details and opinion on this news see The Grocer magazine this week - available at all good newsagents.