The 50 million people that use London Bridge station each year are set to benefit from a wave of new retail openings – with a string of quality fashion and luxury brands set to open in the coming weeks.
Cath Kidston and Hamleys will open their doors at London Bridge station this month, with Mac, Rituals, Ted Baker and The Body Shop all set to join them in the spring.
They join a long list of exciting brands already open at London Bridge, with far more to follow as Network Rail works to create a flagship destination where people can shop, meet, eat, socialise and travel.
The exciting announcement follows hot on the heels of the launch of free Wi-Fi at the station as the focus on great customer experience continues. It also marks a significant expansion of these retailers’ station presence, with Ted Baker, Mac, Hamleys, and Rituals all firsts in the Network Rail portfolio.
Hamish Kiernan, commercial director of retail for Network Rail property, said: “The transformation of London Bridge station is one of the most ambitious projects that Network Rail has undertaken. It gives us the opportunity to use our expertise to create a great environment and produce a retail offer that exceeds people’s expectations.
“We understand that stations, large and small, and their surrounding areas are increasingly becoming the hubs of modern local communities. They are being recognised as places where people can travel, live, work and play, and at the same time provide the catalyst for housing, regeneration and economic growth in our towns and cities.
“As such we’re working exceptionally hard to bring in established, quality brands and create a diverse and eclectic mix of retailers, food and beverage outlets, and places for entertainment.
“We’re excited to reveal these fantastic brands will be part of the London Bridge experience and look forward to station users enjoying the range of retail options available in the station.”
The £1billion redevelopment of London Bridge station, part of the Thameslink Programme, includes a huge range of improvements including a huge new concourse, modern facilities, two new entrances on Tooley Street, and 15 fully accessible platforms. It will also see 92,000 sq ft of new retail and more than 70 retail units – the most ever in a Network Rail station.
The improvements are already hitting the mark, with customer satisfaction rising up to 81.5% between Autumn 2016 and Autumn 2017, and a strong surge in retail sales, as revenues soared by 50.3% between September and November. This success is also good news for the railway industry in general, as Network Rail invests all profit it makes from retail activity back into the railway network.
Ray Kelvin, CEO and founder of Ted Baker, said: “London has always been close to Ted’s heart; it’s his home town, he knows it like the back of his hand, and it’s where he gets his best inspiration. Given his love of travel – by train in particular – Ted’s been following the development of the new London Bridge station complex closely, even before the success of the new St. Pancras store that opened last summer. It’s only a few months until the store opens with a hand-selected edit of the men’s and womenswear collections, but I can’t hold Ted back – he’s getting really excited about the opportunities there.”
Penny Grivea, managing director of Rituals Cosmetics UK and Ireland, said: “We are thrilled that Rituals Cosmetics are part of the exciting London Bridge transformation offering all station users a chance to slow down and immerse themselves in all that our brand has to offer. Rituals are continuing to drive the brand in the UK through extensive expansion plans, strengthening their position in the beauty and wellness category whilst ensuring Rituals are one of the leading premium lifestyle and beauty brands.
“The transformation of London Bridge is a truly exciting new addition to the Rituals portfolio. It allows us to continue to reach new busy customers on the go, helping them to transform their everyday routines to meaningful rituals with our diverse assortment and outstanding customer service.”
Sue Carvell, commercial director at Cath Kidston, said: “We are delighted to announce the opening of our new London Bridge store in February 2018. We have seen great success in our store at Network Rail’s St Pancras station, and look forward to bringing our brand to this exciting new development too. London Bridge station is a prime location, ideal to offer a convenient shopping experience for our travelling customers. We feel our Modern Vintage offering will fit nicely with the exciting list of other brands confirmed for this new shopping hub.”
Mark Drummond, head of marketing, Hamleys of London, said: “We are thrilled to be opening a toy shop in the middle of the newly developed London Bridge station. The new Hamleys store will be full to the brim with hundreds of exciting toys that will bring smiles to the faces of all our customers.”
Donna Hynes, retail director at The Body Shop, said: “We are delighted to announce that we are opening a brand new store this spring at such an exciting, busy location. We look forward to reaching new customers and visitors as well as welcoming our core long-term fans to enjoy shopping on the go and experience complimentary express makeovers and skin consultations. We invite everyone to hear more about our global campaigns at our new London Bridge store.”
Network Rail will be releasing more detail about its exciting retail portfolio at London Bridge in due course, with announcements still set to be made on major food and beverage brands, entertainment in the station and further high-profile retailers.
Final changes are currently taking place within the station, before it fully reopens in May 2018.