Retailers in UK train stations enjoyed an increase in festive sales, despite the turbulent wider trading environment.
Network Rail said in-store retail sales across its stations grew 2.3% in total terms and 0.6% on a like-for-like basis between November 10 and December 22.
In total, shops in its stations recorded more than £93.8m in sales during the six weeks leading up to Christmas. Health and beauty retailers registered the biggest festive growth, reporting a 13% sales uptick, followed by food with 10% and news, books and confectionery, which enjoyed a 9% increase.
Network Rail also reported a 1% increase in retail footfall, which again bucked the festive high street retail trend. The latest BRC and Springboard data showed a 2.6% slump in footfall compared to Christmas 2017.
The top-performing stations during the festive period for retail were London Bridge, Paddington and Charing Cross. Outside of the capital, Edinburgh Waverley and Birmingham New Street were the best performers.
The railway infrastructure provider said this growth in sales came “despite a difficult wider trading environment” for the high street retail sector, and positively reflects its strategy of focusing on customer convenience to drive sales.
David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, said: “We are committed to delivering a positive experience for the 900 million people who use our stations each year, and therefore any decisions we make around our retail portfolio are centred on what our passengers want.
“Of course, there are wider challenges in the retail market and this has affected some retailers, but today’s results show that our strategy is paying off and that convenience is most definitely king, with station retail continuing to outperform the high street.”