New figures suggest railway stations are becoming huge hot-spots for jewellery, with Network Rail citing sales of items such as ear-rings and necklaces as a major factor in soaring retail growth at its stations.
Year-on-year gift purchases, including jewellery, steamed ahead by some 44% over the last quarter. Links of London and Oliver Bonas are among the names with a presence at large central city stations who are likely to have done well from the trend.
The rail giant, which manages around 20 of the UK’s biggest stations, revealed that gifts and accessories like jewellery were a major contributor to the organisation’s like-for-like sales, which have now risen for 17 consecutive quarters.
204 million people passed through Network Rail’s managed stations between April and June this year, with almost one in three station users (64 million) visiting station retailers in the period.
Sales at major stations in London (King’s Cross +9%), and across the country (Manchester +10% and Reading +10%) performed well, pointing to the ongoing changes in consumer shopping habits as more people look for central locations to meet, eat, shop and travel, Network Rail said.
To coincide with the release of the figures, Network Rail Property, the company’s commercial division, has announced the appointment of Daniel Charles as the its new head of retail.
He will join in October from the Abu Dhabi Airports Company, where he was head of retail for almost two-and-a-half years. Prior to this role he worked as a senior category manager at Network Rail for seven years.
David Biggs, Network Rail’s managing director of property, stated: “These figures show that the quality retail offering at Network Rail stations is driving strong customer traffic to the many shops, cafes and boutiques that stations now have to offer. That’s good news for shoppers and good news for passengers too. All profits from retail sales are reinvested back into the railway, helping fund the Railway Upgrade Plan.”