UK. LS travel retail UK & Ireland has made a big breakthrough by capturing the contract for a Relay news and convenience store at London’s Cannon Street mainline rail station. It marks the company’s re-entry into the UK rail market after it pulled out a number of years ago.

The 70sq m store is set to open in April under a six-year lease, agreed with station owner and operator Network Rail.

Fin Casey, Managing Director of LS travel retail UK & Ireland, said: “I am delighted that we are working with Network Rail and are continuing to grow our UK presence with this significant new opening in central London. Network Rail has a clear and exciting vision for the success of the station and we share their commitment to both raising the station experience and driving commercial performance.

“With our UK operations performing strongly we have developed a robust growth momentum over the past year, including a series of exciting new stores extending from London to Glasgow, and are determined to continue on this positive path.”

Network Rail Head of Retail Gavin McKechnie said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Relay to offer a new brand to our Cannon Street passengers.

“LS travel retail UK offers a range of retail concepts, and Fin and his team share our ambition to improve the overall experience for passengers with a greater level of choice and convenience at their station. We look forward to working with LS travel retail UK in other locations.”

The store format was adapted from the new Relay design in Asia Pacific

The store format is said to be inspired by a new Asia Pacific format for Relay stores and adapted to the UK market.

The retailer said: “The format has been designed to drive sales performance by meeting the unique conditions of the UK market, particularly in addressing its high footfall and high volume sales. Relay is now one of the most trusted and readily recognised brands in travel retail, reaching a million travellers each day through more than 1,200 stores in 18 countries with a tailored range of news, magazines and souvenirs.

Vincent Romet, COO Lagardère Services with responsibility for EMEA, said the company’s global strategy supports the development of this new store concept in the UK

“As a top three travel retail business globally, we benefit from sharing successes and expertise from one market to another,” said Romet. “Relay, already present in 18 countries, is a global essential for travellers and has been specifically tailored to the needs not only of London’s commuter traffic but also leisure traffic and other station users.

Fin Casey added: “Our ambition is to enhance the UK traveller experience still further by expanding the presence of our existing UK formats and by introducing other store concepts from within the LS travel retail portfolio. Despite the current economic conditions in Europe, we’re continuing to experience growth in the UK, both organically and with new business gains, and are committed to growing and developing our UK presence at airports and railway stations.”

LS travel retail UK & Ireland’s operations include tax & duty free and speciality retail in London Luton, London City, Glasgow and Belfast International airports, a Longchamp boutique in Heathrow Terminal 1, plus stores on board four vessels in the Irish Ferries fleet.