UK. SSP has rolled out a new travel-focused café and retail store concept for UK regional train stations called Café Local, with 15 branches already open and 15 more to come by the end of 2024.
The first Café Local stores have opened at stations around the country including Fratton in the South; Exeter in the Southwest; Dover in the Southeast; Sheffield in South Yorkshire and Reading, to the west of London.
The flagship store opened at Peterborough station, in the East of England, in late summer. It offers a one-stop shop for barista coffee, pastries and sandwiches, soft and alcoholic drinks and a wide range of retail goods from confectionery to travel essentials such as hand wipes and basic medicines.
Customers can sit at tables or enjoy perch stools with free phone-charging stations. A small selection of current best-selling books, stationery and toys is on sale.
CEO SSP UK and Ireland Kari Daniels, said; “We’re delighted to upgrade our regional rail offer with the new Café Local brand, which is already proving to be a success with customers. With one-stop convenience, Café Local meets a broad spectrum of customer needs under a single roof, and we very much look forward to opening more outlets in the coming months.”
Reaction to the first opening has been positive, with an average 4.6 stars on two Google Reviews pages, and sales have already “exceeded expectations,” SSP said.
The development of the Café Local proposition reflects the unique requirements of regional railway stations, which are often slightly out-of-the-way and where there are often limited options for passengers and staff to shop, the company added.
The design of the Café Local stores feature graphics of the local skyline, with a cheerful, simple blue and yellow colour scheme. Keeping true to its name, community boards where local groups and clubs can showcase events or provide relevant information about services to local passengers are also available.
SSP Group operates brands ranging from its own Upper Crust, to franchises of M&S and Burger King, in airports and train stations in more than 30 countries. ☕