Network Rail saw its retail sales grow 4.36% and like-for-like sales increase by 1.32% in the 2018/19 financial year – above the British Retail Consortium’s (BRC) figure of 0.05% for the whole of the retail sector in the same period.
The transport company said its largest station retail offer – the transformed London Bridge station – was proving “hugely popular” according to its latest financial results.
The station – which houses over 70 purpose-built shops – has doubled its total sales for the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year. It recorded over £14m in purchases, while sales for the 2018/19 financial year grew by over 75%.
Across Network Rail’s managed station estate, Q4 (January-March 2019) like-for-like (2.42%) and total sales (6.84%) increased steadily.
Niche station retail categories including technology (+105%), home and lifestyle (+25%), and books (+18%) showed an increase, indicating that shoppers were looking to the stations for traditional high street items as well as the usual on-the-go food and small purchase offers.
These results marked the eighth straight year, and 32nd successive quarter, that like-for-like sales have increased for Network Rail. All profit from retail sales is reinvested back into the railway.
David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, said: “We know that convenience is king for our busy passengers and station users. That’s why we are delivering a passenger-centric retail offer across our estate and are pleased it continues to be successful despite some tough market conditions.
“We’re committed to delivering a positive experience for the 900 million people who use our stations each year. We continue to work with our colleagues to create modern railway stations that are also destinations in their own right – great places for people to shop, eat, socialise and travel.”