Network Rail today released its station retail figures showing out-performance of the high street.
Station sales results for September to December 2010 showed a 5.02% growth on a like-for-like basis, compared to the same time the previous year. In the same period high street sales, as reported by the British Retail Consortium, grew by just 0.40%.
These results follow strong growth in the previous quarter (June to August 2010), which recorded a 5.34% increase in like-for-like sales, compared to the same time the previous year. Network Rail will be publishing its retail sales figures from now on, every quarter.
These figures were compiled from the results of retailers operating from over 540,000 sq ft of retail space at 17 of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations owned and operated by Network Rail, benefiting from a combined annual footfall of over a billion. Out of these stations, London Euston (+13.51%), Birmingham New Street (+12.85%) and London Bridge (+11.20%) achieved the best results of the period.
Food and grocery categories achieved the highest levels of growth, with specialist food catering brands seeing an increase of 30.68%, followed by restaurants with a growth of 18.51% and supermarkets with a 14.63% increase. Clothing and accessories categories also did well, reporting an overall growth of 10.48%.
Network Rail has also seen a host of new signings recently including a new concept from Café Rouge with their first ever take-away service at Euston, a new champagne bar from Searcy’s at Paddington and new luxury brands at London Bridge with the opening of Hotel Chocolat and Rituals.
Network Rail’s head of retail Gavin McKechnie said: “Whilst the high street shivers in the cold economic climate, rail passenger journey numbers remain high at 1.3bn a year – the highest number for 70 years. Retailers at our stations benefit from these high passenger numbers and from an upmarket demographic who are keen on impulse shopping. We have overhauled our retail offering by working closely with our partners to maximise value for them and us. This has resulted in greater choice and quality for passengers and shoppers.”
Last year Network Rail unveiled plans for 75,000 sq. ft. of new space at stations marking the start of a new era for station retail. Thanks to these exciting new opportunities, strong partnerships and working proactively with retailers to grow business, the continued growth of station retail sales throughout 2011, and beyond, is predicted.
All profit from Network Rail’s retail activity is re-invested in the railway, limiting the cost to tax payers and passengers.