Network Rail Station retailing continues to show growth in sales

In the same quarter high street sales, as reported by the British Retail Consortium, declined by -0.8% meaning retail sales in stations have significantly outperformed the high-street.

The results follow the previous quarter’s trend (October to December 2011), which recorded a 5.02% growth in like-for-like sales, compared to the same quarter the previous year.

These figures were compiled from the results of retailers operating from over 560,000 sq ft of retail space (493 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.

London stations recorded the best performance with Euston (11.6%) London Bridge (7.29%) and Charing Cross (6.9%), achieving the best results over the quarter. Strong trading results were also achieved at Edinburgh (8.5%) and Leeds (6.3%) stations.

Food and grocery categories continue to show the highest levels of growth across the portfolio with supermarkets posting a (13%) growth, specialist food catering brands up (10.8%) and restaurants with a (10.2%) increase in sales.

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New openings this quarter have included Yo! Sushi in Manchester Piccadilly, Costa Mobile in Victoria and Euston Tap, a new real ale pub for Euston Station.

Network Rail’s head of retail Gavin McKechnie said: “In such a challenging economic climate these figures are very encouraging and mainly thanks to the consistently high footfall our stations benefit from and the creative work of our business partners delivering a more compelling offer to our customers. Whether the economy is good or bad people who commute to work by rail will still pass though our station giving our retail partners a real edge over the high street which they have capitalised upon.”

Jane Bevis, director of public affairs at the British Retail Consortium said: “These figures contrast markedly with the experience on high streets due to the strong footfall through Network Rail stations and the heavy London skew. They also demonstrate how shoppers are topping up at convenience stores, having managed the main weekly shopping budget very carefully.”

All profit from Network Rail’s retail activity is re-invested in the railway, limiting the cost to tax payers and passengers.