A strong Christmas sales period, coupled with consistent October and November trading has helped Network Rail record positive like-for-like retail sales growth of 6.06% in the final quarter of 2014, the 11th successive quarter or growth. The British Retail Consortium in contrast announced 0.10% growth for the quarter.
The results again point to the changing consumer buying behaviours within both the retail and food and beverage sectors. Passengers and station users are increasingly seeking travel hub convenience and spending time in stations as they continue to become destinations in their own right.
The top three stations for like-for-like growth during the period were London Waterloo (20.51%), Birmingham New Street (11.12%) and Liverpool Lime Street (9.57%), showing the trend is not just in London but across Britain.
Network Rail’s head of retail Samantha Turner said: The results show Network Rail is giving passengers the brands and convenience they want at stations.
“Around 214 million people passed through Britain’s biggest stations between October and December 2014, almost 10 million more than in 2013, and our figures show people are spending, with more than one in three visiting a retail unit; that’s over 72 million."
She added: “We continue to listen to station users so we can create a retail environment to meet their needs. Bespoke, quality brands are a big part of our long-term strategy and new concepts from Itsu and Junction Urban Street Food to Dutch retailer Hema are helping make our stations great places to meet, eat, shop and travel.”
The top five categories for the period were; Pubs & Bars (18.30%), Gifting (18.18%), Dining (14.74%), Bread (13.30%) and Books (12.10%).
Christmas retail trading at Network Rail’s managed stations was the busiest on record growing 15.8%, with like-for-like sales growing by 10.7%
Network Rail reinvests all profits from its commercial activities back into the railway, creating a better railway for a better Britain.
(Source: Network Rail)