Convenience “sparks growth” at Network Rail stations

Passengers’ appetite for convenience has increased total retail sales at Network Rail managed train stations by 2.3 percent over the festive period.

Despite a difficult wider trading environment, where sales levels fell flat across the wider high-street retail sector in December, Network Rail’s figures for sales between November 10 and December 22, 2018, show growth of 0.6 percent in like-for-like sales.

In total, Network Rail recorded more than 93.8 million pounds in sales during the six weeks leading up to Christmas, with retailers in the health and beauty performing the best with an increase of 13 percent, followed by food up 10 percent, and news, books and confectionary increased by 9 percent.

There was also a 1 percent increase in retail footfall, comparing favourably against results in the latest BRC-Springboard, which showed that overall UK retail footfall was down 2.6 percent.

Some of the best performing stations included London Bridge, which was up a staggering 74.7 percent helped by the significant investment in the retail enhancement projects at the station, while Paddington and Charing Cross in London also performed well and Edinburgh Waverley and Birmingham New Street elsewhere in the country.

David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, said in a statement: “Of course, there are wider challenges in the retail market and this has affected some retailers, but today’s results show that our strategy is paying off and that convenience is most definitely king, with station retail continuing to outperform the high-street.

“This is also at a time that we are investing in and upgrading our stations, which impacts on retail. However, this will have long-term positive effects - helping the railway to grow and improve for passengers, whilst creating great places for communities to thrive.”

Image: courtesy of Network Rail


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