TfL showcases new advertising and retail plans
The head of retail development at Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled plans for station redevelopments across all zones, offering advertisers and businesses new opportunities to take advantage of the busy tube and overground network.
Mike Ward, head of retail business development at TfL, said the new facelift at Old Street station - which has seen "shabby and tired tenants" removed in place of "cool pop-ups", as well as increased security, improved lighting and colourful interior design - will soon see similar initiatives rolled out at Baker Street, Canary Wharf and Shepherd's Bush.
"We've had retail right from the start," Ward said at Exterion's All Eyes on London event on Thursday.
"We've always been a place to pick up a paper and get your keys cut. More recently, we've also been a place to get a latte or pick up a pint of milk or a prescription, but that's all pretty mundane and we really intend to do a lot more."
Currently 3.7 million people pass through the tube network each day. With 400 stations, including the DLR and overground stops, the capital's transport network is filled with prime space for advertisers and retailers to target London's "time poor, but often cash rich" commuters.
"We've really focused the last ten years on getting the transport services right," Ward said. "But we've kind of got that in the bag now, so we need to focus on the other stuff that makes people's lives a bit more enjoyable as they come through the network."
Ward said TfL "did not spend a fortune" on Old Street's redevelopment, which now houses pop-up businesses including a marshmallow stall, an organic cereal shop and a fruit-juice provider.
"We can be a real catalyst for change. We want to be a part of improving the high street; giving businesses new opportunities to grow and reach audiences - either trading from our retail space or advertising from our stations, or combining both."
The new developments will include adding graphics and new signage to wallspace, new lighting plans and space for pop-up businesses to trade for any time from just a day to six months. TfL will also work with existing businesses to improve their retail space.
Outside of the busier central zone, where 82% of all stations are based, Ward said new "click and collect" opportunities will also become commonplace, with brands such as Waitrose and Asda providing online grocery collection points for commuters returning home, with appropriate advertising around stations to inspire shoppers on the way in.
Similarly, lockers where commuters can collect packages ordered online from retailers such as Amazon will be rolled out in the next 24 months.
This year, the All Eyes on London event focused on the capital's top thirty "villages" - showcasing research on the different types of residents and their exposure to out-of-home advertising. More information can be found on the dedicated website.
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