Network Rail reports 9.5% sales growth across its managed stations over the festive period
32% of total station users – almost 34 million people across Britain – visited a station retailer between 19 November and 24 December
New results released today by Network Rail reveal that station retail sales for the festive period grew by 9.5%* compared to last year, showing stations are becoming key destinations for last-minute gifts, supermarket shopping and pre-Christmas dining.
Edinburgh’s Waverley station was the best performing station overall, with total sales growth of 41% recorded in the Scottish capital.
These figures come as the British Retail Consortium’s ‘Sales Monitor’ recorded a year-on-year sales increase of 1% for December.**
Across the festive period (19 November to 24 December), 106 million people – more than one-and-a-half times the entire population of the UK – visited Network Rail’s stations, an increase of just under 10% on the same period last year. Almost one in three (32%) station visitors entered a retail outlet, and the increase in station retail purchases equates to total sales of over £83million during this busy period.
Overall Christmas sales increased most at Edinburgh Waverley (+41%), Birmingham New Street (+26%) and Leeds (+15%) stations.
Food and drink outlets performed particularly well, with the top five outlets in stations recording an average of 50% growth over the period.
Retail outlets, driven by gift purchases, also performed well, growing by 24%. Station supermarket sales remained strong, growing by 4% over the festive period.
10 Network Rail managed stations recorded double-digit sales growth.
The festive sales surge was also boosted by the opening of sector-leading outlets across Network Rail’s managed station portfolio. The retail offer at Edinburgh Waverley has improved massively over the last 12 months with numerous new and exciting brands helping to change the face of the station including the high-profile addition of J D Weatherspoon’s ‘The Booking Office’ located on Waverley Bridge above the railway line.
At other stations, recent new openings have included: The Bookshop by WHSmith and Hema shop at Euston, as well as Kiko cosmetics at Birmingham New Street, Urban Decay cosmetics at King’s Cross and James Martin Kitchen at Manchester Piccadilly.
David Biggs, Network Rail’s managing director of property, said: “The quality and diversity of gifts, food and beverage options now available to station users is a direct result of station investment across Britain, including in key hubs such as Edinburgh Waverley. Our major retail developments and strategy to bring in new and exciting retailers is helping us achieve our long term goal of improving the station experience for our customers, while crucially generating vital funds to reinvest back into the railway.”
Over the last five years, Network Rail’s ongoing investment at stations across the UK has helped deliver stations that are not just places to travel to and from, but destinations in their own right. This investment is continuing with retail enhancement projects well underway across Network Rail’s station network with several newcomers expected to open at Edinburgh Waverley station during May 2017.
Notes to editors
Our managed stations
Birmingham New Street
Bristol Temple Meads
Liverpool Lime Street
St Pancras International
(lower level) Retail at St Pancras is managed by HS1
*Based on station sales data recorded between 19 November and 24 December
** This is an illustrative comparison only. The BRC comparison provides a snapshot of the retail industry, we are not comparing like-for-like.