New statistics released today by Network Rail shows that convenience continues to be king for busy commuters and shoppers, with Manchester Piccadilly station recording 5.2% retail sales growth in the last quarter.
The rise in sales at Manchester Piccadilly has been led by a growth in gifting, which has more than tripled since the introduction of a new Oliver Bonas store in the station. The positive numbers have also been driven by strong growth in its popular food on the go outlets, and in health and beauty.
David Biggs, Managing Director of Network Rail Property, said: “These figures mark five and a half years of continuous growth, and this is testament to the hard work of our team, our great retail offer, and Network Rail’s continued investment in improving stations as part of our “Destinations Programme”.
“In today’s society people want variety and convenience and our stations offer just that. They give our busy customers a chance to grab gifts, fashion, and food while on the move, as well as offering a destination for sit-down meals, coffee, and socialising.
“These consistent improvements in results don’t come by accident; they show that we have an effective plan in place to create stations that are destinations in their own right, based on our intimate understanding of what our customers want.”
Across British stations the figures continue the trend of convenience shopping, as people buy more presents, fill up on more food, and socialise more at stations – with gifting (+14.8%), fast food (+9%) and bars/pubs (+6.1%) leading the growth this quarter.
Over 63m retail customers visited station retail outlets in the quarter and growth was spread across the country, with sales growth in Birmingham (+11.1%) featuring prominently, alongside Bristol (+5.7%) and Edinburgh Waverley(+6.8%).
The figures also include a swell of sales growth at London Bridge (50.3%) and Paddington (46.3%) stations, as regeneration and investment of these key transport hubs continues to have a positive impact on retailers.