Train station stores: The future of successful retail?

While other brick and mortar retailers are reporting a slump in post holiday sales, one sector of the retail industry is thriving. Call them the ‘stores of convenience, or necessity’ (footfall is a given because consumers need to get that bottle of water, gift or magazine for their journey home), but train station stores are thriving.

UK Christmas shoppers in a hurry (or perhaps with more time to kill than they expected) bought more at railway station stores in the period from November 19 to December 24. An extra £83m was spent as visitor traffic to stations rose 10% to 106m, Network Rail said.

Food and drinks outlets were the key beneficiaries with an average sales growth of 50% but gift-related sales also rose 24%. Supermarket sales at stations rose 4% during the festive period.

By individual station, Edinburgh Waverley saw the strongest retail growth (41%), followed by Birmingham New Street and Leeds. London’s top performers were Paddington, King’s Cross and Euston.

Recent store openings included The Bookshop by WH Smith and HEMA at Euston, Urban Decay at King’s Cross and James Martin Kitchen at Manchester Piccadilly.

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