Statistics have shown that retail sales at railway stations during the first quarter of 2011 grew at a faster rate than during the same period last year.

Network Rail has reported a 5.17 per cent growth in like-for-like sales between January and March, following the trend of the previous quarter, which saw a growth of 5.02 per cent between October and December 2010. 

Groceries have been most successful, with an improvement of 13 per cent, while specialist catering brands and restaurants have also done well, with strong new ventures including Yo! Sushi at Manchester Piccadilly. 

The figures were obtained from a survey of financial results from retailers at 16 of the UK's biggest stations, topped by London Euston and Edinburgh, which achieved respective growths of 11.6 per cent and 8.5 per cent. 

Gavin McKechnie of Network Rail said: "These figures are very encouraging and mainly thanks to the consistently high footfall our stations benefit from and the creative work of our business partners delivering a more compelling offer to our customers." 

The British Retail Consortium's Jane Bevis said: "These figures contrast markedly with the experience on high streets due to the strong footfall through Network Rail stations. They also demonstrate how shoppers are topping up at convenience stores." 

Convenience plays a big part in the choices of consumers and capitalising on footfall is essential. Retail tools such as well-placed A boards and poster frames can help to inform passing commuters of products they might need.