Network Rail today released station retail sales results for January to March 2011 showing a 5.17% growth in like-for-like sales, compared to the same quarter the previous year. 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.
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.
Notes to editors
Figures compiled from 16 of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations, owned and managed by Network Rail:
- Birmingham New Street
- Edinburgh Waverley
- Glasgow Central
- Liverpool Lime Street
- Manchester Piccadilly
- Charing Cross
- Fenchurch Street
- King’s Cross
- Liverpool Street
- London Bridge
Network Rail’s top performing categories:
- M&S Simply Food
Specialist Hot Food Catering (+10.8%)
- 1st Class Fruit
- Krispy Kreme
- Millies Cookies
- Moma Foods
- Nothing But The Fruit
- Souper Douper
- Moshi Moshi
- Yo! Sushi
As part of the continued investment in stations to increase capacity and improve the environment for passengers, 75,000 sq. ft of exciting new retail space is being created at Waterloo, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street and King’s Cross stations.
- Manchester Piccadilly: The existing mezzanine will be used to provide seven new restaurants, totalling nearly 12,000 sq ft. The first new unit, Yo! Sushi, opened in spring 2011.
- London Waterloo: Opening spring 2012. A stunning 220 metre-long balcony will be built along almost the full length of the concourse at first-floor level creating 20,000 sq ft of new retail space. This will allow the currently over congested concourse to be cleared, creating significantly more space and improved passenger flow to and from Waterloo East.
- King’s Cross: Opening spring 2012. The creation of a brand new concourse will mean passengers will enjoy over 27,000 sq ft of new shops and restaurants.
- Birmingham New Street: Opening 2014. A striking new station concourse, including 16,000 sq ft of new retail space will bring passengers a bigger choice of shops and restaurants.
- Is one of the largest land and property owners in the country and will generate over £1bn in the next five years from commercial activities for re-investment in our rail estate. This would be enough to transform Birmingham New Street or King’s Cross stations, or put in place 5,000km of new railway.
- Already has over 560,000 sq ft retail space at 16 of the largest stations across the country – that’s more retail space than Bluewater – showcasing many leading high-street brands.
- Is also the country's largest provider of commercial property to small and medium sized businesses with over 7000 properties nationwide.
- In addition, works in partnership on existing development projects, including multi-million pound commercial schemes above our stations at London Bridge (Shard) and Cannon Street and our first multi-site joint venture: Solum Regeneration.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing £38bn in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.