Figures released today by Network Rail have revealed more evidence of the changing face of modern retail with in-station retail spend once again outperforming the high street average, and growing for the ninth quarter in a row.
Average results show strong increases in retail spending at Network Rail’s 19 managed stations, culminating in a 6.1 per cent gain in the period. This is compared to steady growth figures of 1.1 per cent from the British Retail Consortium which includes many British supermarket and retail brands.
Hotel Chocolat, Isle of Flowers and The Harry Potter Shop and specialist foods from Wasabi, Nampo, Mi Casa and Patisserie Valerie have led the growth with 26 per cent and 18 per cent respective growth figures. This week, Hema, the popular Dutch discount retailer has opened its first UK store as part of the refurbished Victoria Place Centre in Victoria Station with Frankie & Benny’s, Joy, Ed’s Easy Diner, Café Rouge and The Fresh Pizza Company also rejuvenating the new station retail environment.
Recently redeveloped station King’s Cross continues to steam ahead when it comes to overall spend with a 15.55 per cent increase since Quarter 4 2013/14. Liverpool Lime Street station is close behind with a 14 per cent rise with Cannon Street rounding out the top three at close to 10 per cent growth.
Stations in Scotland also recorded steady growth with Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central stations rising by 5.76 and 4.68 per cent respectively.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail for Network Rail, said the growth points to the changing habits of the modern customer: “We’re working with our retailers to improve the quality and range of shopping experiences and offerings at our stations. You have to work hard to keep pace with the constant evolution of this sector, and as these results show, we are getting the mix right.
“Stations are now destinations not just to travel but where people want to meet, eat and shop. Importantly as a tax-payer funded organisation, all our profits from our commercial activities are reinvested to deliver a better railway for Britain.”