While growth slowed for the wider retail sector over 2016’s festive period, the tills at the iconic Grade 1-listed railway station rang out, bucking the trend with a 6.2 per cent increase.
“This is now a destination in its own right, not just a station, an alternative to traditional locations and malls,” says Wendy Spinks, commercial director of St Pancras’s operator HS1.
The successful mixed model she has steered of stylish brands, popular mid-market and smaller independent stores, along with craft eateries, bars, art installations and live music is now seen as one that’s set new standards for the UK rail industry.
This year’s wow centrepiece decking the main hall is a 47 ft floral-themed tree, its branches interlaced with 15,000 blooms and pine cones that took royal florist and station resident Moyses Stevens 1,150 hours to create.
The centre’s latest introduction, the Perfect Gift Generator, a tool that assists shoppers in their hunt for ideal presents, aims to be a solution for the £2 billion Britons spend each year on unwanted presents.
A special study by St Pancras this week revealed that startling figure alongside another, that 25 per cent of us admit to arguing with a partner or breaking up over a thoughtless gift.
No chance of that happening for those who drop into the station where other new arrivals this winter include Chanel, Calvin Klein and Ted Baker, personalised gift services and business workshops for entrepreneurs.
“The station is home to a number of independent retailers including Things British and the Eye Candy beauty bar, and the fact we welcome high profile brands as well as retaining tenants such as Fortnum and Mason and John Lewis is testament to our collaborative approach,” adds Spinks.
“That enables them to secure the tenure and size of unit for their brand, while preserving the station’s unique heritage.
“We’re passionate about helping small businesses to grow. This will be the most exciting Christmas yet for all of us.” stpancras.com
For more classy treats, check out: gourmet fast food Prime Burger’s ultimate ‘Christmas In A Bun’, Italian restaurant Barzetti’s set menu, the fizz or legendary cocktails while wallowing in the heated leather seats at Searcy’s fabulous Art Deco Champagne bar, feed the mind at renowned bookseller Hatchards’ special concourse pop up which has experts on hand to recommend the perfect read then take advantage of its special 3-5 pm collection service, glory in more glorious blooms and bouquets from Moyses Stevens, make it personal with Aspinal of London’s bespoke ribbon with a choice of printed messages and the retailer’s signature gift wrap, relax and unwind with a hand and arm massage at L’Occitane, or head for organic skincare and remedies supremo Neal’s Yard and revel in the range of rejuvenating oils and moisturisers made with authentic frankincense.