Network Rail today released station retail sales results showing a 6.4% growth in like-for-like sales from April to June 2013. In the same period high street sales, reported by the British Retail Consortium, increased by 0.4%, meaning retail sales in stations continue to outperform the high street.
These figures were compiled from the results of retailers operating from over 500,000 sq ft of retail space (520 units/shops) at 16 of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations owned and operated by Network Rail, benefiting from a combined annual footfall of over a billion.
Top performing stations include King’s Cross (+38.2%), followed by Cannon Street (+32.3%), London Bridge (13.6%), Euston (+7.7%) and Edinburgh Waverley (+7.5%) compared to the same period last year.
Trading at both King’s Cross and Waterloo benefited from major investment schemes enabling new retail facilities to be added to the station environment, offering customers a wider choice of food and beverage, and retail brands. During this period retail sales also benefited from better weather, and Easter falling in the previous quarter, compared to the same period the previous year, enabling Network Rail to post the best retail results recorded since 2009.
Dining brands performed best in stations this period (+16.7%). Other top performing categories were Specialist Food (+14.7%), Pubs & Bars (+12.2%), Cards & Stationery (+11.8%) and Supermarkets (+10.1%).
This current set of figures show strong growth since the (+1.79%) increase reported last period (December to March 2013). High performing brands include Prêt A Manger, Costa, M&S Simply Food, Paperchase, Leon and Giraffe.
Jonathan Crick, director of retail at Network Rail, said: “While growth on the high street remains relatively flat, retail in stations continues to grow dramatically. This set of retail results shows how the change in retail strategy combined with investment in new retail space has enhanced the whole station environment, contributing to a strong retail performance even in like-for-like comparisons. Even more so for overall sales. Stations offer a vibrant and healthy trading environment and we are continuing to attract new brands to enhance the breadth of retail offered to passengers.”
All profit from Network Rail’s retail activity is re-invested in the railway, limiting the cost to tax payers and passengers.