Network Rail train station sales surge as it cashes in on last-minute Christmas shopping

 
Rebecca Smith
Station shoppers delivered a Christmas gift to Network Rail as sales rose
Station shoppers delivered a Christmas gift to Network Rail as sales rose (Source: Network Rail)

Network Rail reported a rise in sales across its stations over the festive period, as last-minute Christmas shopping picked up.

It reported nine per cent retail sales growth across its managed stations between 18 November and 23 December, with Paddington, Euston and King's Cross the most successful.

Some 33m people, just under a third of all station users, visited a station retailer over the festive period with £110m in sales raised in the lead-up to Christmas. Gifting and food outlets performed particularly well for Network RAIL.

Read more: Network Rail is selling its huge commercial property portfolio

Concourse footfall was flat from last year, with Network Rail saying the steep rise in retail sales suggesting a higher proportion of people are now using stations for pre-Christmas shopping.

London stations with the steepest rise in sales

Paddington - up 42 per cent

Euston - up 12 per cent

King's Cross - 12 per cent

Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail at Network Rail, said: “Our station retailers have enjoyed a very successful Christmas with like for like retail sales increasing by three per cent.

“This achievement isn’t by chance, our investment in stations and our diverse, high-quality retail offer is directly linked to our retail performance and customer satisfaction, both of which are growing. Gone are the days when our stations were only used for catching a train, they are now also destinations of choice for shopping, dining and socialising."

Kiernan added that there are more "retail enhancements and station regeneration" in the works this year, as part of efforts to drive sales up further. The opening of London Bridge station for example, will include 92,000 sq ft of new retail.

Over Christmas, Network Rail also sought to bring in more shoppers by setting up pop-up stands across the likes of London Waterloo and Victoria to provide a free wrapping service for gifts bought in station shops.

The state-owned rail group which controls 2,500 stations, as well as tracks and tunnels on Britain's rail network, announced in November it was started a sale of its commercial property portfolio to provide "a significant injection of cash" to help fund railway work.

Profits Network Rail makes get reinvested back into the railway.

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