Quick fact: over 1.7 billion train journeys are made in Britain each year. That’s a lot of traffic, and potentially a lot of money to be made for shop owners operating on platforms and concourses up and down the country. Could you be next?
If you’re at a crossroads in your entrepreneurial endeavours, it’s an option that could open the door to great riches. Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that will keep you on the right track.
The rental costs
The one major downside of renting out a store at a train station is that it doesn’t come cheap. In fact, the hottest destinations can command several thousand pounds in weekly rentals. Moreover, most stations require hefty deposits at the start of the contract.
Exact details can vary depending on the part of the country and the operator. However, Transport for London guides to renting commercial units show that it can be an expensive and difficult process. Still, the fact that so many companies operate from those locations shows that those overheads needn’t kill the business. In most cases, they can be overcome thanks to the increased revenue opportunities.
Aside from the direct benefits of the store. A pop-up can help a larger business grow its overall presence with this sizeable audience too. However, success is only possible when you provide the right goods for that target market.
A lot of train users are commuting to work or returning home after being out. Either way, they often are in a rush and may have skipped meals. Whether they’re making final preparations for the journey ahead or want to warm up from the cold doesn’t matter. There’s a good chance that food and drink will be the best solution for most small businesses.
Time is of the essence, which is why investing in combi ovens can make all the difference. Aside from food and drink, you may want to supply cigarettes, newspapers, and items that may be useful on a long trip. Deodorant is a surprisingly frequent seller, which is worth knowing for newsagents and similar stools.
In truth, premium products are often unnecessary, not least because they can cut off a large portion of the potential audience.
One of the great things about owning a platform pop-up or store is that you’ll have visitors throughout the day. Nonetheless, the peak hours are actually quite unsocial, especially when located in a commuter town. Therefore, you must be prepared to either work those hours or hire someone that will.
Meanwhile, you’ll also want to consider the fact that Sunday traffic can be quite slow while National Rail’s festive schedule is important too. For the most part, though, this type of business is blessed with access to large audience numbers. And while those people come from all different backgrounds, they are joined by various elements. This can work wonders for conversions.
If you’re prepared to work and appreciate the limitations of the business, there’s nothing to stop it becoming a huge success. With the fundamentals of the model in place, directing the venture to the intended destination shouldn’t be too hard either.