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Published on : Friday, June 5, 2015
Network Rail’s retail sales have increased for the 12th successive quarter, helping the rail infrastructure owner and operator achieve average growth for the 2014/15 financial year, ten times higher than the high street as measured by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Like-for-like figures released today show average sales for January to March 2015 rose by 6.26%, compared to a rise of only 1.3% by those on the high street. This meant Network Rail recorded 6.16% growth for the year compared to the BRC-measured average of 0.61%.
Network Rail’s 18 stations across Britain are benefiting from changing consumer habits with 64.5m station users visiting a retail unit in the quarter. This is a 500,000 increase on last year and means more than 30% of station visitors are choosing to visit a retailer.
London stations were the best performing for the quarter with Cannon Street (19.7%), Waterloo (16.6%) and Euston (13.1%) recording the highest growth across Network Rail’s estate. Outside of London, Birmingham (12.5%), Leeds (8.5%) and Liverpool Lime Street (7.7%) all recorded above average growth.
From a retail category perspective, Gifting, Books and Bread achieved the highest gains in London, while Specialist Food, Bread and Coffee recorded the largest sales growth outside of the City.
Network Rail, director of retail, Hamish Kiernan said: Our retail strategy is enabling us to respond to changing consumer needs and these figures are further proof that it is delivering the retail experience that passengers and station users want.
“We’ve also seen great success where external factors have played a such as the the Paddington Bear shop at Paddington station, which has doubled its sales for the quarter thanks to the success of the terrific Paddington movie.”
“Our stations are such an intrinsic part of the British life, so if we can build upon any association with trends of the day like Paddington or Harry Potter, we can see that success reflected in our results. We can then return any profits back into the running of the railway to make things even better for the future.”
Network Rail has a pipeline of station improvements planned for the coming year which will continue to enhance the station environment and it palns to increase retail space by over 300,000 square foot in the next five years.
Hamish Kiernan continued: “We’ve just opened new food and beverage units Itsu and Mi Casa Burritos as part of the Euston Station Balcony Development Scheme with more brands including Junction Urban Street Food to open in the coming weeks.
“At the same time we’re working on Stage 2 of a major new development at Birmingham New Street which is set to finalise the transformation of this vital transport hub.”
“We’re also planning further investments at Paddington and Liverpool Street. All of these projects are aimed at making journeys safer and more efficient for passengers, while provided great places to meet, eat, shop and travel.”
Source:- Network Rail