Rail station retailers outperform high street for tenth quarter in a row

15th Feb 2013
Rail station retailers outperform high street for tenth quarter in a row

Retailers at some of Britain’s biggest and busiest railway stations have seen like-for-like sales outperform the high street for the tenth consecutive quarter, new figures released by Network Rail show.

The latest station retail results show a 2.54% growth in like-for-like sales between Q3 (1 October-31 December) 2011 and Q3 2012. Over the same period, the British Retail Consortium reported sales on the high street grew by just 0.2%.

Figures were compiled from the results of retailers operating over 500,000 sq ft of retail space totalling over 500 units at 16 of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations owned and operated by Network Rail. In total, these stations benefit from a combined annual footfall of over a billion.

Jonathan Crick, commercial director of retail at Network Rail, said: “With growth on the high street remaining flat, our station retail sales continue grow. This strong performance is impressive taking into account the challenging economic climate we face, and is thanks to investment in rail and growth in passenger numbers. The guaranteed high levels of footfall in our stations provide our retail partners with some of the most lucrative trading environments available in the marketplace today.

Top performing stations include London Bridge (+23.27%), followed by London Victoria (+7.32%) and Euston (+5.82%), compared to the same period last year.


Food and beverage offers continued to perform strongly in stations. Top performing categories were specialist food (+11.27), bread (+9.64%) and pubs & bars (+5.93%). Cards & stationery also performed well (+5.69%).

This current set of figures shows growth has increased slightly on the 2.37% increase reported last period (July to September 2012). In the same period high street sales, as reported by the BRC, reported growth of just 0.5%.

Not included in the like-for-like stats is King’s Cross, which has seen a huge increase in retail sales following the opening of the spectacular new western concourse in March 2012. During the third quarter, station retailers generated over £10m in sales, which represents a 137% increase on the same period the previous year when the number of retail units in the old southern concourse was significantly lower.

David Biggs, director of property at Network Rail, added: “These are great results for our retailers, and we are delighted with the recent survey findings from Passenger Focus which show passenger satisfaction has soared particularly at King’s Cross and Waterloo, where we have made significant investment in providing a better environment and improved retail facilities for passengers.”

All profit from Network Rail’s retail activity is re-invested in the railway, helping deliver a better value railway for taxpayers and passengers.


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