Network Rail has released its latest set of station retail sales results for April to June 2011 showing a 3.7% growth in like for like sales, compared to the same time the previous year.
For the same period high street sales, as reported by the British Retail Consortium, grew by just 0.73%, meaning retail sales in stations continue to outperform the high street.
These figures were compiled from the results of retailers operating from over 560,000 sq ft of retail space (493 units/shops) at 16 of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations owned and operated by Network Rail, benefiting from a combined annual footfall of over a billion.
The results were slightly down on the previous quarter’s trend (January to March 2011), which recorded a 5.17% growth in like-for-like sales, compared to the same quarter the previous year – owing to a downturn on trading coinciding with a later than usual Easter followed by the royal wedding, which created an unusually prolonged bank holiday period.
Gatwick, followed by London stations in particular London Bridge (8.6%), Fenchurch Street (7%) and Euston (6.8%) achieved the best sales growth over the period. Outside of London, Manchester (4.98%) and Leeds (4.60%) stations achieved the best results.
Specialist food catering categories achieved the highest levels of growth with a 14.20% increase, followed by cards and stationery with a growth of 13.37%. Restaurants in stations are also doing well with this category reporting a growth of 9.94%.
Gavin McKechnie head of retail at Network Rail said:
“Despite the fact we had two successive four day bank holiday weekends the results are very encouraging in this challenging economic climate. The high footfall of our stations continues to give our partners the edge over the high street.
“Over the coming months we’ll be announcing our new retail partners who will be coming onboard in exciting new space at King’s Cross and Waterloo stations, opening next year marking the start of a new era for station retail.”
All profits from Network Rail’s retail activity is ‘re-invested in the railway, limiting the cost to tax payers and passengers’.