SAZKA brings in Justin King CBE to aid UK National Lottery bid

15th January 2021 8:58 am GMT
Sazka Group

Lottery operator SAZKA Group has brought in experienced retail executive and former Sainsbury’s CEO Justin King CBE to provide counsel as the company bids to operate the UK National Lottery.

King will be the inaugural appointment to an advisory board that will work closely with bid chair Sir Keith Mills and the wider SAZKA team on retail strategy and how the National Lottery can play an integral role in the revitalisation of the high street and local retail post-COVID-19.

SAZKA will draw on his expertise to improve the customer experience, support independent retailers and expand the National Lottery’s product and marketing portfolio.

“Getting people back to their local high street post Covid-19 requires fresh thinking, an innovative approach, and recognition that the National Lottery can play an integral role in that recovery,” said King. “I’m teaming up with SAZKA Group to make the National Lottery better.

“We need to revitalise this precious institution by bringing back those customers that have stopped playing, while making it relevant and exciting for new audiences too. A vibrant and growing lottery is the only way to guarantee more funding for good causes, which is crucial for helping Britain to build back better.”

King brings a wealth of experience from some of Britain’s leading retail brands. After serving in senior roles for ASDA and Marks & Spencer, King joined Sainsbury’s as CEO in 2004 during a difficult period for the supermarket giant. His reforms overhauled the company and produced thirty-six consecutive quarters of sales growth and profit.

In addition to this, King is credited with developing Sainsbury’s partnership with Comic Relief, where the company raised £1 of every £10 donated to the charity. In recognition of his services to the retail sector, Justin was awarded a CBE in 2011.

“Justin King is one of the UK’s leading experts in the retail sector,” said Mills. “He has a track record of turning around businesses, which will only strengthen our efforts to make the British public fall back in love with the National Lottery.

“With Justin on board, we will present a plan that modernises retail channels to ensure that not a single National Lottery player or retailer is left behind. Justin’s experience will also be of huge benefit for our transition plans which must be submitted to the Gambling Commission as part of our bid. Over the next few weeks, I look forward to welcoming more experts to our team, who will help us to share our vision for the National Lottery as the Fourth Licence Competition progresses.” 

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