[Feature] Revolutionising shopping centres: #3- Train stations, shopping malls attached to platforms.


As with airports, railway stations involve high levels of traffic and are gradually becoming retail locations. Usually located close to or in the heart of a city centre, each station is unique in terms of architecture, layout and environment.


“Stations also play a unifying role in city centres, where their extension and renovation contribute to the renewal of the areas in which they are located”, emphasises Hugo Vanderschaegh, Managing Director of Altavia Travel Retail.


A tailor-made retail experience.


Depending on the type of station, the majority of customers will be commuters or travellers.
What will make the difference for retailers, depending on the station, is the time available to travellers. Station merchandising adapts to the type of traveller and the amount of time each passenger spends in transit. Station retailing is therefore custom-made.
Unlike shopping centres, the primary objective of station shops is not to attract customers and keep them there, but to optimise the time spent by an already captive clientele and turn it into sales.


Encourage customers to regard stations as destinations in their own right.


Tesco, in Japan, offers customers the option of doing their shopping on a digital wall in the station while they wait for their train. Another way of saving time is to set up consultation centres (ophthalmologists, physiotherapists, etc.).
“There is a necessary transition from one form of transport to another”, he analyses, “hence the importance of introducing short ‘service’ periods before and after to make people’s lives easier and to encourage them to see the station as more and more of a destination”.

This article features in the book “Retailing the future”, which explores the unprecedented revolution taking place in the retail sector.

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