Sales grow for tenth successive quarter as railway station retailers continue to beat the high street: Waterloo retail balcony

Tuesday 18 Nov 2014

Sales grow for tenth successive quarter as railway station retailers continue to beat the high street


Latest figures from Network Rail show that retail sales at Britain’s biggest and busiest stations have grown for the tenth quarter in a row, highlighting the changing habits of Britain’s modern consumers.

Like-for-like sales at Network Rail’s 18 managed stations for July to September 2014 jumped by 6.23% compared to the same period in 2013. The increase is in stark contrast to high street sales, which fell by 0.05% according to the British Retail Consortium.

London Waterloo and Liverpool Lime Street were the two best performing Network Rail managed stations, recording 18.73% and 14.10% sales growth respectively, while Birmingham New Street has benefited from the first phase of the station’s major redevelopment which launched in April last year, recording the third highest like-for-like sales growth of 12.23%.

The results show stations both inside and outside of London continue to record solid gains with Charing Cross (11.58%), Glasgow (10.76%), Edinburgh (5.43%) and Manchester (4.95%), all moving forward strongly. Specialist food and gifting brands are growing significantly as part of the station retail mix, with like-for-like sales increases of 18.08% and 14.58%. Pubs and Bars also grew by 11.94% compared to this time last year.

Network Rail Property’s head of retail, Samantha Turner, said: “These results again demonstrate how people are changing the way they shop, eat and travel. Convenience and combined retail and transport hubs are an increasingly high priority for the busy British public and our strategy to create destination stations is delivering for our customers.

“Creating stations that welcome rail passengers and encourage them to spend time in and around our retail units is great for our retailers, and it’s clear that the expanded and improved retail offer at our stations is meeting the needs of today’s passengers and station visitors.”

Network Rail’s retail sales success has been driven by a rolling programme of improvements by the company’s property division at its 18 managed stations, which saw £100m invested to improve retail facilities in 2009-14 and a further £150m being invested over the 2014-19 period.

Major schemes either planned or under way include work to install a new balcony and expanded retail area at London Euston, the opening of the newly designed Birmingham New Street in September 2015 – which incorporates the new Grand Central shopping centre including the largest John Lewis store outside London – and an upgrade to the Paddington Lawn shopping area at London Paddington.

Network Rail reinvests all profits from its commercial activities back into the railway, creating a better railway for a better Britain.

Samantha Turner continued: “We’ve got some great ideas, a range of innovative brands and wonderful new concepts that will keep our business growing into the future.”

Notes to editors

Network Rail…

  • owns and manages 18 of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations (as well as managing St Pancras International on behalf of HS1 Ltd).
  • reinvests all profits from commercial activities into Britain’s railway infrastructure.
  • is one of the largest land and property owners in the country and during the five-year period which ended on 31 March 2014, generated £1.4bn from commercial activities for re-investment in its rail estate. This is enough to transform Birmingham New Street or King’s Cross station, or put in place 5,000km of new railway.
  • has over 510,000 sq ft of retail space at 18 of the largest stations across the country, showcasing many leading high-street brands.
  • is also the country's largest provider of commercial property to small and medium sized businesses, with over 7,000 properties nationwide.
  • works in partnership to develop railway land and property no longer required for operational use, including multi-million pound commercial schemes above our station at Birmingham New Street and joint ventures with the likes of Ballymore, Bloc, Kier and The Office Group.

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About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

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