New quarterly results released today show total retail sales at our 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 our stations with the strongest increases in those that have seen significant recent investment.
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, shows significant increases in satisfaction at stations where there has been investment in retail.
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.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail, Network Rail
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.