Forget about the high street, Britain’s train stations are the real heart of retail and seemingly the go-to place for tourist souvenirs.
According to quarterly retail sales figures from Network Rail, like-for-like sales at its 18 train stations were up by 4.14 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.
That’s more than eight times greater than what the British Retail Consortium reported for the same three months earlier this year, says Network Rail.
Sales at its food and beverage outlets were up 6.1 per cent in Q1 2016, compared to the same period a year earlier, while traditional retail sales grew by 2.5 per cent.
However, it has been gifts that have seen the biggest sales uplift, soaring by 43.6 per cent, while technology sales are up by a fifth.
These increases helped record a 17th consecutive quarter for sales growth at Network Rail’s station retailers.
David Biggs, Network Rail’s managing director of property, said it was good news for rail passengers as much as the retailers themselves with all profits from retail sales reinvested back into the railway.
Network Rail manages some of the UK’s most prolific train stations including London Euston, Victoria and Waterloo as well as Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham New Street, Leeds and Glasgow Central.