Coffee retailers give caffeine kick to railway retail sales
Passengers and station users spent more than £11m at coffee retailers at Britain’s biggest and busiest railway stations from April to June 2015, purchasing the equivalent of 5.1 million cups of coffee. This is up more than 6% on last years’ figures and helped Network Rail achieve a 13th successive quarter of station retail growth, with all profits reinvested in the railway.
Passengers and station visitors at London Victoria spent more at coffee retailers than any other station*, accounting for £1.6m of sales. This is closely followed by London Waterloo (£1.5m) and London Liverpool Street (£1.1m).
Overall like-for-like figures across all retail sectors show average sales for April to June 2015 rose by 3.67% at Network Rail’s 18 managed stations, compared to a slight fall of 0.10% by retailers on the high street, according to the British Retail Consortium.
Two London stations were the best performing for the quarter with Cannon Street (30.4%) and Waterloo (12.89%) recording the highest growth across Network Rail’s estate. Outside London, Bristol Temple Meads, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Leeds and Glasgow all recorded above average growth in this quarter.
The latest footfall statistics show that of the 200m people who used Network Rail stations in Q1, around a third (c.63m people) passed through the retail spaces. As a comparison, this is significantly more people than the 47m who visited Westfield’s Stratford City in its first year of operation.
Network Rail director of retail, Hamish Kiernan, said: “These figures are further evidence of Network Rail’s success in modernising and transforming stations into destinations in their own right. We aim to enhance the overall passenger experience and continue to cater to the demands of the modern traveller, as well as generating retail profit to reinvest in our railway.”
Network Rail has a series of station improvements planned for the coming year, including at Euston and Paddington stations, which will continue to enhance the station environment for passengers and other users. This will contribute to Network Rail’s plans to increase retail space by over 300,000 square feet in the next five years.