Last-minute railway station Christmas shopping brings 9% retail sales growth

  • With shoppers turning to stations for last-minute gifts, Network Rail reports 9% retail sales growth across its managed stations over the festive period
  • Paddington, Euston and King’s Cross performed best, with five stations recording double-digit sales growth
  • 31% of total station users – around 33 million people – visited a station retailer between 18 November and 23 December

New results released today by Network Rail show total station retail sales for the festive period (18 November to 23 December), grew by 9%, comparing favourably against recent Christmas trading results recorded across the wider sector – reaffirming customers appetite for convenience retail.

Station retailers saw a total of over £110m in sales during this busy period with gifting and food outlets performing particularly well, showing that shoppers are turning to stations for last-minute gifts, supermarket shopping, and pre-Christmas dining.

Across the same period, 105 million people visited Network Rail’s stations and one in three (31%) of these station users entered a retail outlet.

£110m was spent on station Christmas shopping

Above: £110m was spent on station Christmas shopping

While concourse footfall was flat from last year, the marked increase in retail sales indicates a significant proportion of people now find stations an ideal destination for pre-Christmas shopping, eating and drinking.

Paddington (+42%), Euston (+12%) and King’s Cross (+12%) stations showed the highest growth in London, with five stations in total recording double-digit growth. Meanwhile, Manchester Piccadilly (+9%) and Bristol (+7.4%) were the best performers outside of the capital.

Our station retailers have enjoyed a very successful Christmas with like for like retail sales increasing by 3%.


This achievement isn’t by chance. Our investment in stations and our diverse, high-quality retail offer is directly linked to our retail performance and customer satisfaction, both of which are growing. Gone are the days when our stations were only used for catching a train. They are now also destinations of choice for shopping, dining and socialising.


These results follow five and a half years (22 quarters) of consecutive retail growth, and our plans for further retail enhancements and station regeneration this year should help to keep us on track for more success.

Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail, Network Rail

All profits from Network Rail retail activities are reinvested back in to the railway and plans are well underway for a programme of retail enhancement in 2018.

This includes the landmark opening of London Bridge station which will see 92,000 square feet of new retail including a significant number of brands new to the Network Rail portfolio.

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