Retail sales rise by 5.6% at UK's busiest railway stations
Network Rail has reported that like-for-like sales at retail outlets at its largest stations rose by 5.6% from January to March 2014.
On an annualised basis, Network Rail station retailers reported like-for-like sales growth of 6.1%.
With the stations benefiting from a combined annual footfall of over one billion, the top performers included London’s King’s Cross and Cannon Street where sales increased by 23.3% and 21.3% year-on-year respectively. Manchester Piccadilly came in third place with a rise of 8.4%.
Specialist food brands performed best in stations during the period followed closely by cards and stationery, and pubs and bars.
The trading figures were compiled from the sales results of retailers operating from over 500,000 square feet of retail space across 16 of Britain’s biggest and busiest stations owned and operated by Network Rail.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail, Network Rail, said: “These are great results for our retailers and we are delighted that our stations are continuing to give them an edge over the high street. We know that the growing appetite for rail travel and convenience of our locations are key drivers of this trend, and we will continue to capitalise on this by creating ‘must-visit’ retail destinations across our portfolio of stations. Income from retail is a vital funding stream for Network Rail and strong results will allow us to deliver even greater value for Britain.”
Network Rail also said that footfall data from recently installed sensor technology at 15 of the country's biggest stations has uncovered with much greater accuracy how many people enter stations to shop, eat and drink, work, or use connected transport services without taking the train.
London's Liverpool Street station recorded 91 million people entering the station over the last 40 weeks and this is expected to increase to 119 million for the full year – twice the amount of rail ticket sales recorded over an annual period. Outside of London the picture remains the same, with 10 million more people entering the station at Birmingham New Street, 5.6 million more at Manchester Piccadilly and 6 million more at Edinburgh Waverley.
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