By Simon Black, director of travel retail at Harper Dennis Hobbs
The recent article on St Pancras is a great piece that highlights the growing importance of train stations as key travel retail destinations.
They are now becoming retail destinations in their own right. As passenger numbers at the key stations continue to boom and station operators invest in the station environment to create a better retail experience, the attitudes both of retail brands and people using the stations are changing.
The shift in mindset of people using train stations is fuelling strong retail sales growth as consumers spend more in the enhanced retail offers at these stations.
This is reflected in the results released by St Pancras which show a 10% increase in sales over the Christmas period.
We are seeing strong demand for retail space in train stations from our clients and have successfully supported several in the acquisition of new stores in the London Bridge redevelopment. This project is a fantastic example of the huge growth and demand for retail space in train stations.
This is not just a trend specific to the UK, it is one we are seeing across all the major rail stations in Europe. In Paris, for example, SNCF is investing heavily in redeveloping and expanding its retail proposition in Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon and Gare Montparnasse.
As train stations across Europe are redeveloped and as the growth in passenger travel shows no sign of slowing down, these stations will become increasingly important retail locations for retailers. These are exciting times for travel retail.