A quiet revolution is taking place across the United Kingdom although most people haven’t noticed it yet.
I am sure that you will have noticed the big projects like London’s CrossRail that will come into service in 2019, with trains running between Reading in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex and HS2.
If your community is close to a railway line you may have had your local road network disrupted caused by engineering works.
My shop in Cosham, Hampshire is going to be affected significantly by the permanent closure of the level crossing gates. They will improve safety, but also allow for more of the longer trains that are already causing the gates stay down longer.
Longer trains and new services have become the order of the day and with the delivery of CrossRail and HS2 the new railway revolution will take major step forward. The new lines will bring with them new rolling stock that will release the current trains for use on other parts of the network. The evidence of the past decade and more has been that with the growth in service that connect towns and cities in a more direct way comes a growth in passenger numbers.
You may be wondering why I mention this. Quite simply, there will be opportunities for the retailers who service the needs of these changes in the way people travel. Retailers near stations that gain new services will see an increase in footfall and a need for a change in products. The interchange stations however, could lose as the requirement to change trains lessens as new trains will bring in longer services.
Meeting the needs of the travelling public demands a different approach to the standard convenience offer. Clearly there is an opportunity for food to go, for Cosham station someone else is offering this. The target for me is helping these travellers fill the time when they are on the train. A wide magazines range is key to succeeding with this opportunity with customers regularly spending between £5 and £10 on a couple of titles.
Cosham is a suburb of Portsmouth, a historic navy city so I am surprised to know that aircraft titles sell well. Constructing a range of titles across all magazine categories is important because on the move customers will be a much wider catchment based than the customers who live within your community.
If you are going to be one of these lucky retailers who are going to benefit from the 21st century railway revolution, start planning now. If you want inspiration, take a look at the innovations that Peter Lamb has brought into his business.