King’s Cross railway station, formerly known as London King’s Cross, is a landmark railway station that was built in 1852 on the heart of London city. It is England’s largest railway terminus, with direct links to several European countries (Bennett, Gardner, Sumner & Lansley, 2004). The station is the southern terminus of the mainline of the east, and there is St Pancreas station at the west, immediately to king’s cross railway station. St. Pancreas Station construction in 2007 aims to provide a direct link to and efficient facilitation of international Eurostar trains and these two stations sharing King’s Cross St. Pancras tube station on the London Underground network. Relatively fast, st’ Pancras station has been replaced by international waterloo terminals and connections with other major stations in Europe.
Retail Market and Services at Kings Cross Railway Station
After the construction of st,’ Pancras not only the speed of the railway but also the retail market and the sole trade centers have grown up around the railway terminus. Due to the reason of the highest accessibility and the comfortability, it provides to the railway passengers’ demand for the services has rapidly grown up around the goal. With the opening of new hotels and other service centers such as department stores and boutiques, there is bound to be a new set of developments. The daily statistics confirm that over 40 million passengers are using the facilities available to them from these two terminals for mainly their transportation needs. They demand several services from the outlets located at the stations as they pass this stop. Thus there is a tremendous market for various rail passenger needs.
The retail market is defined in a sense as a place where the sale of goods or services to final customers rather than to producers or intermediaries takes place. It is targeting the final customer and satisfying his preferences. The retail market around the kings cross railway station offers a full range of services to the railway passengers to make comfort their journey. It involves all the necessities buying shops, and the bars, restaurants, will label brasserie. The longest champagne bar in Europe; the terminal is full of the regular farmers market. Many small shops and retail outlets in the region provide several services (Alexander & Myers, 2000). The railway terminal resembles a terminal at an international airport.Every retailer considers the growth of the business and the effective promotion of the goods and services he provides to the ultimate customers. And thus, the retailers crossing the railway terminal in kings have been successful in achieving this. Retailers who offer various services at kings cross are very responsible for consumer interactions and relationships like targeted new customers; they are keen to have a long-term trading relationship with current customers as regular travelers visit the railway premises for their different transport needs several times a day (Newman & Cullen, 2002). And these retailers are very keen to increase the quality of the service and to have a feedback from the customers, for example, many restaurants and bars located in Railway premises promote customer perceptions of their operation and a feedback box is available to report operation deficiencies and take prompt steps to rectify them. This approach by the kings cross retailers create customer loyalty, drive traffic in the shop, and it gives the strengths to tackle and remain with the tremendous rivalry that exists in the Kings cross railway terminal sites. That is the central aspect of the Kings Cross retail market success.The retail sector needs to focus and work together more than ever to face the economic challenges that are likely to be affecting their industry. Recession and government policies on the retail sector, such as sales taxes and local taxes from the city council, have a broad range of consequences for commercial business growth (Berman & Evans, 1995).
Since the new construction of St. Pancreas tube station, the local authorities have extended their support to the boutiques, and retail outlets in the kings cross with a centralized commercial marketing network and by providing them with more facilities.The retail sector market of Kings Cross has been obtained many advantages, and they involve in the improvement of the sector because the commercial marketing system not only focusing on saving retailer’s money, but it improves the speed and the quality of promotions in the production and service processes. The planning and collaboration and creativity
Methods of retail service provisions of kings cross railway premises has the time it takes to get promotions out to railway passengers by more than 50% by adopting automating and highly streamlining the processes (Bessant, 2004). so thus this adaptation towards the customers gives an Immediately respond to the other competitor’s retail outlets, expansion of train services to Europe and many destinations have expanded new market demands, thus daily farmers market at the railway station premises has adopted and successfully managed the operational requirements such as maintaining perishable inventory levels. In the retail sector, advertising plays a huge role in promoting the business and the brand among customers. In kings cross railway station premises the retailers are adopting handbills and word of mouth publicity and attractiveness to their shops by decorating them in various colors and decorations. But this commercial king has an eye on the rail passengers, and they’re attracting to the retail outlets. In particular, restaurants such as Montana excel, burger king, and luxury hotels such as crest field hotels, novel set’ Pancreas, holiday inn kings cross embrace ads as a tool for developing their retail sector.
These efficient marketing tools include attractive holiday packages and tour packages to the railway passengers, various railway transportation-based services are offering by multiple retailers such as ticketing services for Europe’s any destinations and attractive tour packages ticketing and agency services for foreign travelers. There are world-class pubs and bars serving railway passengers very efficiently by adopting strong customer care and various marketing strategies (Edwards, 1992). Such as coopers bar, potters bar, the duke, and York are some of the examples for the efficient bars at kings cross railway station premises. On the other hand, there are casino outlets for railway passengers for entertainment. These retail outlets are generating and adding a considerable income to the national income of England. They produce more promotions in the same outlets by providing a high-density variety of services to the passengers for their satisfaction.
Socio-Economic Needs of Transport Users
Purpose of Travel
The statistics show that over 40 million railway passengers are traveling through the king’s cross railway station to various destinations include locally within England and to many destinations in Europe such as France, Italy, and Germany. Many passengers are traveling for jobs and colleges because there are many universities and colleges in London, and the population in London is very high when comparing to other cities in England.
Because of the facilities and the reputation the city has got attracting citizens to this location. Most of the passengers, about 65% of the total passengers who are using railway transportation, are traveling for the commute. There are many institutions and organizations in England, so to avail of their needs, they chose kings to cross railway station due to the easy accessibility and the facilities that it has given to the railway passengers. The station has the reputation of having trained to any location, including European destinations. It is regarded as the largest railway subsidiary in the whole of Europe. And also, some people are traveling purely for leisure. It is noticeable by observing them closely and obtaining information from the railway authorities, about 35% of passengers are using the railway premises purely for relaxation.
Many railway passengers are traveling isolation. According to railway officials, many passengers prefer to travel to their destinations in isolation. London is a busy city, and due to the competitiveness of life, some people do not have time to spend time with others. So it is observed that many passengers are traveling alone without a companion. But some passengers love to travel with their family members. Especially the passengers who are traveling long distances from the station, such as a journey to a European destination, prefer to travel with their family members and companions. They reserve family tickets, and most passengers prefer booking family tour packages, and the other category is that traveling with friends. Many youths and university/ college students prefer to travel by train with their friends. Especially the passengers who are traveling along distance may choose to have a friend with them for the entertainment and reduce the broadness that has been associated with train journeys.
Travel Distance & Destination
Travel distance & destination includes long and short journeys and the trip within locally or internationally. According to train ticket outlets and officials, many railway passengers tend to book long journeys, and that includes international journeys. Because the kings cross railway has the accessibility of train services to all over the Europe passengers who are coming here is most like to travel to an international destination. There is only a two-hour journey to Paris from the kings cross railway station (www.planningonline.camden.gov.uk/). There are many trains, thus providing a luxury service to the railway passengers has increased the number of passengers who are availing the service from this prestigious railway station than the air transportation to those destinations. This particular station is the largest in England has a variety of services and facilities to the passengers, and thus it has expanded its services all over the country. So there are a considerable number of passengers who are traveling across the country by using this particular railway station because it has more trains operating to almost every destination inside the country.
The Lifestyle of the Passengers
Many of the passengers are local people with social class, they prefer to reserve first or second class train tickets to their journeys, and most of them are highly rich people. The latter are choosing the train journey for the comparability and the fewer security proceedings than air transportation. There are a vast number of international passengers, mostly from European countries availing the railway transportation services from kings cross station. Because they feel that the train journey is cheaper than air transportation, and there are fewer security proceedings associated with railway transportation are a greater comfort to them. On the other hand, they feel railway transportation is very much secure than air transportation. When there are more passengers avail of the service in the first-class section, that indicates the level of disposable income of the people. So the statistic of consumption of international tour packages indicates an appositive sign of disposable income of the railway passengers.
Time Availability of the Traveler
Most of the travelers are availing of the train services in the day time rather than at night time. During morning time the station premises is very busy, and there is a rush at the train station due to the train schedules. Most of the long-distance trains are starting in the early morning. So during morning time, it is very busy at the train station. There are trains according to the schedule that is beginning in the night time. Especially the trains which tend to go to international destinations starting from the night. There are special provisions from the night trains with sleeping and other facilities. The canteen facilities and cleaning facilities inside the train are excellent, and the railway authorities are fully engaging in those necessary facilities.
Emotions Associated With Travel
Most of the passengers are happy with the journey and the facilities that they are available. Especially those who are traveling with family members and friends are feeling comfortable because they do not think about the broadness of the journey.
The train is a perfect place to meet strangers. Most of them do not speak with each other, and they would prefer reading or listening to music while traveling. There are enough facilities to make the passengers comfort thought out the journey and reduce the broadness associated with the travel. Such as provisions to passengers for reading books and newspapers, listening to music, etc.
Background /Introduction to the Transport Interchange
Due to the high accessibility to the other destination, the king’s cross railway terminal is regarding as the best railway transport interchange in Europe because it is the gateway to Europe’s most destinations via railway. as indicated below the airport is having the
full facilities more passengers are encouraged to travel by train rather than stay at home or taking other traveling alternatives such as air transportation, or traveling by bus.
Local government is acting as a facilitator because most of the terminals services are carried by privet agents and institutions (McGoldrick, 2002). London is a city which is having many universities and colleges, and due to that there are many university and college students are availing the railway facilities for their various transportation needs and thus shopping malls, pubs and restaurants are engaging in providing entertainment services to the passengers encouraging to visit the railway premises to avail the service. Therefore it has many trains to almost every destination, so it is a cheaper way to obtain transport needs than any other transport alternatives available in the United Kingdom. Thus the train transportation is regarding as a highly safe alternative of vehicle. Well maintained railway tracks and the concern towards the quality of the service provided by the railway authorities in London are attracting more passengers to the station.
Identification of Existing Retail Services
There are many retail stores in London’s Kings Cross railway station. There are shops and kiosks, many outlets offering snack foods and pastries. This apart, there are other bars and restaurants. These restaurants do make much profit as a large number of customers visit them every day. There is also a branch of Boots chemists and newsagents. There are also banking and postal facilities. There are plenty of restaurants and hotels that provide Bed and Breakfast (B&B). Most of the B&B facilities are located directly opposite the front entrance of Kings Cross and St Pancras International stations (Gilbert, 2002). The Kings Cross area contains some of the most economical Bed and Breakfasts in London. They are also of better quality than similar outlets in other districts. These are not ordinary houses with few rooms rented out by family owners, but small scale hotels with none of the added frills. These Bed and Breakfast hotels are generally four, five, or six storied Victorian terraced houses without modern facilities such as lifts. These Bed and Breakfast facilities have become very popular among passengers traveling to and fro from King’s Cross because they are cheap. They provide a location to store the luggage and a place to sleep at night while sight-seeing London during the day time. These Bed and Breakfast facilities have also proven to be very profitable as they generate a lot of revenue for the hotel owners, due to the large number of passengers commuting across the Kings Cross station. Over 40 million passengers commute across London’s Kings Cross railway station a year to locations all over the United Kingdom.
Kings Cross Bed and Breakfast hotels offer the best value for money in terms of bed and breakfasts in London. For a budget of around £50-£70, this area offers good quality bed and breakfast facilities. Even though alternative districts such as Paddington/Bayswater, Victoria, and Earls Court have more elegant hotels, the cost is higher for a similar grade of hotels as offered by Kings Cross. Lots of passengers that travel long distances are enticed to stay overnight in these, thus generating much revenue. Travelers traveling in Eurostar are also drawn to stay at hotels around Kings Cross.
London’s Kings Cross Station contains several gift shops selling numerous items ranging from newspapers to cosmetics, stationery, and clothes. Some of the major ones are: Boots sells cosmetics, perfumes, and aromatherapy products, sells newspapers, magazines, and other reading material. The Body Shop offers natural cosmetics, beauty products, and so on. Swath has a leading brand of watches. Tie Rack has a range of ties and scarves and other accessories. Flower store offers fresh flowers (Lyons & Harman, 2002).The demand for the shops and retail outlets at Kings Cross has improved many folds with the arrival of Eurostar at the nearby St Pancras International. This area has received a great boost as a result of this. Several bars and coffee shops have come up in the Kings Cross area. This apart, there are antique dealers such as Regent Antiques. This is a large warehouse that sells a wide variety of Victorian and Edwardian furniture. They also have many reproduction prices. There are also Art Galleries & Fine Art Dealers such as Art First.
As indicated above, report kings cross railway stations is a great resource not only to England but also to the whole of Europe because the particular railway station is the gateway to the European continent.
- So for the last long this resource, it should be maintained well by the railway authorities.
- For the maintenance purpose, it is recommended that the railway tracks should be maintained well and outdated railway tracks should be removed, instead of the obsolete tracks, new railway tracks should be installed according to latest technology and developments to ensure the maximum safety to the passengers.
- It is recommended to introduce a reward system to the railway officials and the staff. Well experienced and professional staff should be recruited for the benefit of the station, and there should be a performance appraisal and reward system to the professionals.
- To extend the service at the station, it is recommended to improve the facilities at the railway station and improve the comfortability of the passengers to provide a quality service.
- And it is highly recommended to extend opportunities to the private sector to take part in services inside the station. Because the private sector is regarded as highly efficient in providing services than the government, thus it reduces corruption and influence by government officials.
- The train schedules should be executed in strict control to avoid the delay of trains because this reduces the morale of the passengers.
- The railway station officials should think and consider more towards having better customer relationships. There should be a customer care center with a friendly environment for all the passengers who are availing of the service.
- Alexander, N & Myers, H 2000, ‘The retail internationalization process’,International Marketing Review, vol. 17, no.4/5, pp.334-53.
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- Newman, A & Cullen, P 2002, Retailing: Environment and Operations, Cengage Learning Business Press, Florence.