Network Rail reveals huge growth in retail sales at London's railway stations

Oliver Gill
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Standing around: there seems to be more time to grab a bite or a drink at Britain's railway stations (Source: Getty)

Retail sales at London's railway stations have grown at a titanic 17 times the high-street average, despite the number of passengers visiting them remaining the same.

Sales during the three months since Britain's vote to leave the EU grew at 3.7 per cent across Network Rail's 10 London stations. This compares with high-street growth of just 0.2 per cent across the UK as a whole, according to the British Retail Consortium.

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Network Rail, who are responsible for ensuring Britain's rail infrastructure is fit for purpose, hailed the news.

“The trend in our results reflect the changes in how consumers are choosing to shop. Busy commuters and other people who use our London stations want to be able to shop at a time and place that works for them," said David Biggs, Network Rail’s managing director of property.

Network Rail's retail factoids

Number Fact
629m Number of people that have visited London's railway stations in the last 12 months
£166m Total sales across Network Rail's London railway stations over the last three months
13 per cent Kings Cross – the station with the fastest growing retail sales
£27m Kings Cross – highest sales from a Network Rail station over the last three months
10 per cent Asian food – the fast growing food sector at London stations over the last three months

The number of people visiting a station retailer was in line with previous quarters standing at 31 per cent of passengers flowing through the barriers, or 64m in total, during the three months.

Given the number of people visiting retailer was static, it could be that the public are spending more as a result of waiting longer at London's railway stations due to increased delays and cancellations on lines serving the capital.

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In its latest published statistics, Network Rail was unable to ascertain exactly how many passengers travelled via a number of London stations including London Bridge "due to the impact of the Thameslink Project".

While the increase in spend might simply be a result of passengers spending more time at London stations, Network Rail made a commitment to plough the profits generated back into the rail infrastructure.

“Station retail investment is improving stations for our customers, while crucially generating vital funds to reinvest back into the railway,” said Biggs.

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