WOOLIES BACKS AGENTS seems to be ordinary news but it gave a great sigh of relief to the newsagents who are fighting for their livelihood and whose only source of income came from the sale of lotto tickets. Tats group wants to renew its lotto tickets contract with big players like Woolworths and Coles instead of newsagents who are doing pretty well for the last five years and entire livelihood depends on the revenue from lotto tickets.
The switch over from newsagents to big retailers would be a drastic step as it will ruin the houses of hundreds of retailers because 25 to 90 percent of their income came from the sale of lottery tickets. It will create the serious problem of unemployment in the economy which is a major social issue in the country where state elections are going to be held. Unemployment will lead to less demand of goods and services, falling prices resulting in low production. Low productivity can never be a good sign for any economy. Moreover the economic growth of any country depends on the success of both small scale and large scale business. The creativity to sell with new ideas or to generate a master piece is the job of retailers; big units are not competent enough to do the job. This change is not just bad for small businesses; it is bad for society, customers and employment. Further Tatts demand of payment twice a week instead of weekly payment also worsened the cash flows of retailers.
However this shift from retailers to corporate will lead to class conflicts. There will be more inequality between rich and poor. Rich will get richer, poor will be poorer which is never a good sign for the development of any economy. Moreover this contract will be given to big houses for a period of 40 years which is immense time for the retailers to suffer. This widened gap will create unrest among people and this may turn into a revolt if appropriate actions won’t be taken by the Baird government (Godfrey, 2014).
Baird Government has an important role to play in such situation. They just can’t `wait and watch but have to intervene no matter what. Unemployment is a great threat to any economy which ultimately leads the economy to enter into vicious circle an economy never wishes to. Moreover silence on the part of government will give the people an idea that they are encouraging capitalism. So steps must be taken as the lives of fifteen hundred newsagents are at stake. Government can’t play neutral on this matter otherwise they have to bear the consequences. A whole day session of discussion and negotiation took place between Ms Hobbs, small business commissioner, Tatts the lottery owner and The Newsagents and Association of NSW and ACT (NANA) but it proved a failure. The only hope in this darkness are The Woolies who are supporting newsagents by saying that they are doing a great job and lotto business is not in their priority list as this business don’t have growth aspect.