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Published
Sep 15, 2017
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UK retail at railway stations see major boost, fashion is big winner

Published
Sep 15, 2017

Retail stores at the UK’s railway stations are seeing a stronger uplift in sales than the wider retail sector and fashion is getting the biggest boost of all, new figures from Network Rail show. And while station stores are also some of the most vulnerable to terrorist attacks, as the latest London incident shows, recent terrorist attacks do not have appeared to have lessened consumers' apetites for railway station shopping.


Network Rail



From April to June this year, sales at Network Rail’s managed stations rose 5.29%, compared to figures from the British Retail Consortium showing a sales hike of just 2.8% across the wider retail sector.

Importantly, clothing, a category not traditionally associated with railway station retail, saw a 33% rise in sales. Network rail said this is proof that consumers are increasingly viewing stations as shopping destinations rather than just places to pick up a newspaper, a last-minute birthday card or a snack.

Not that all stations are benefitting equally. The 5.29% increase was the 21st consecutive quarterly rise overall but some stations in major urban centres enjoyed a much bigger uplift and have done so quarter after quarter. London’s Paddington saw a 40% rise this time while King’s Cross next door was up 14% and London Bridge rose 15%. Birmingham’s New Street rose 13% with Manchester Piccadilly up 7%.

Many of these stations have benefited from major investment and this has clearly helped boost sales. King’s Cross in particular should continue to see an uplift at the station and in the wider neighbourhood with the new Coal Drops yard mall set to open next year. London Bridge rebuild works will also be complete next year and will see 92,000 sq ft of extra retail space.

Around 64 million retail customers, equivalent to the population of the UK, visited station stores during the quarter and while those people spent more at new stores, they also spent 2% more on a comparable basis.

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