Five hundred National Lottery retailers have been told they will lose their terminal if they don't improve sales. National Lottery operator Camelot has put the first group of retailers on probation as it launches its sales improvement programme. The selected retailers failed to meet a minimum weekly sales target of £1,500 on the lottery and scratchcards over the last quarter of 2001. Scottish Retail Consortium chairman Eddie Thompson said: "Camelot plans to churn as many as 1,500 retailers a year in this optimisation programme. That will give new independent retailers a chance to get a terminal." Association of Convenience Stores public affairs manager James Lowman said the ACS was satisfied that failing retailers would be given a fair opportunity to improve performance during a 24-week supervised improvement programme before a terminal was withdrawn. He added the ACS wanted Camelot's assurance that if an independent's terminal was withdrawn it would be replaced within the independent sector, which currently had a 65% share of terminals. Camelot has also been taking a "long look at retailer incentives" as it prepares to start its next seven-year franchise on Sunday. It has not released details of the proposals, aimed at boosting ticket sales and add on sales, but chief executive Dianne Thompson ruled out any increase in retailer commission. She said: "We won't change basic commission rates of 5%, there is no room for manoeuvre. We have to find other ways to incentivise our retailers." Camelot will trial the sale of lottery tickets over the internet, part of proposals in its bid for a second licence. Plans for a pilot project are advancing, but Camelot said a full range of games was not expected for several years. Camelot this week completed the £68m roll out of 25,000 new lottery terminals, avoiding penalties of up to £5m a week for late completion. It plans a £2,500 investment per retailer in PoS, marketing, and instore furniture each year during its new franchise. {{NEWS }}