Thursday 14 Sep 2017
Station investment boosts retail sales
- Network Rail reports significant retail sales growth for April - June 2017
- Strong correlation between station investment and retail sales growth
- Paddington ranks first, followed by London Bridge and King’s Cross
- 21st successive quarter of rising retail sales in stations
New retail results released today by Network Rail show that total retail sales at its managed stations grew by 5.29% between April and June 2017*. This compares favourably to British Retail Consortium figures, which show average total sales growth of 2.8% in the wider retail sector over the same period.**
This was the 21st consecutive quarter of sales growth across Network Rail managed stations with the strongest increases in stations that have seen significant recent investment.
Paddington (+40%), London Bridge (+15%) and King’s Cross (+14%) stations showed the highest growth in London, while outside of the capital Birmingham New Street (+13%) and Manchester Piccadilly (+7%) were the best performers.
And it’s not just retail sales that are growing, station investment has also led to a rise in overall customer satisfaction from the previous year, with 84% of passengers ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with Network Rail managed stations. The figure, from the National Rail Passenger Survey, includes significant increases in satisfaction at stations where the organisation has invested in retail. It’s further evidence of the success, variety and quality of the retail offer at stations across the UK.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail for Network Rail, said: “Today’s results show how our ongoing investment in stations is creating places that are destinations in their own right, where people choose to meet, eat, shop and travel. Stations like Paddington, King’s Cross and Birmingham New Street have been transformed in recent years and that transformation is leading to better passenger satisfaction and increased sales. Importantly, all profits from our retail activities are reinvested back in to the railway.
“We are looking forward to continuing this trend with the full opening of London Bridge in 2018 as we create 92,000 sq ft of new retail space that will provide exceptional food, beverage, fashion, beauty and gift options.”
64 million retail customers – equivalent to almost the entire population of the UK – visited station outlets during the quarter and shoppers were feeling generous during the later-than-usual Easter period. Gifts and cards/stationery sales enjoyed sizeable increases of almost 53% and 11% respectively.
Clothing retailers also saw their total sales soar by 33%, showing that people increasingly view stations as places not just to shop on-the-go but places to go to shop. Overall, £192.5 million was spent at Network Rail stations over the three-month period, with like-for-like retail sales also up by 1.91% between April and June.
Network Rail is committed to continuing to invest in stations to improve passenger experience. Ongoing and future investments in regeneration and retail enhancement projects include Network Rail’s flagship upgrade of London Bridge and improvements at Euston station.
*Based on station sales data recorded between 1 April and 30 June 2017
**This is an illustrative comparison only. The BRC comparison provides a snapshot of the retail industry, we are not comparing like-for-like.
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.