National train network operator Network Rail has announced today that in the first three months of the year retail sales at its stations far outperformed the high street.
Whilst overall retail sales from January to March 2011 fell 0.8 per cent year-on-year, trading at train stations across the UK rose 5.17 per cent.
In results analysing trade at the country’s 16 busiest terminals, London stations recorded the best performance of any city during the quarter, with Euston (+11.6 per cent), London Bridge (+7.29 per cent) and Charing Cross (+6.9 per cent) all seeing strong growth.
Other stand-out stations across the UK included Edinburgh and Leeds which recorded sales increases of 8.5 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively compared to the same three months last year.
Network Rail’s Head of Retail Gavin McKechnie said: “In such a challenging economic climate these figures are very encouraging and mainly thanks to the consistently high footfall our stations benefit from and the creative work of our business partners delivering a more compelling offer to our customers.”
The growing trend for convenience was demonstrated by the success of supermarkets during the period, as it was the type of retailer to see the steepest rise in sales – up 13 per cent.
Network Rail is investing heavily in infrastructure to enhance its retail offering over the next few years, with significant development being undertaken at Manchester Piccadilly, London’s Waterloo & King’s Cross and Birmingham’s New Street stations.
Jane Bevis, Director of Public Affairs at the British Retail Consortium, commented: “These figures contrast markedly with the experience on high streets due to the strong footfall through Network Rail stations and the heavy London skew.
“They also demonstrate how shoppers are topping up at convenience stores, having managed the main weekly shopping budget very carefully.”