The venture will initially be trialled on the concourses of four railway stations on Merseyside’s urban rail network: Moorfields, Hamilton
Square, Maghull and Hooton.
If successful, it will then be rolled out to 15 to 30 of the 66 stations in Merseyrail’s portfolio.
Each store will combine ticket offices with a top-up shopping offer. They will be based on the Dutch Albert Heijn model of retailing, with an emphasis on specialist chilled products and an extensive sandwich and ready meal range. Locations will range from 430 sq ft to more than 1,000 sq ft in size.
Merseyrail is a joint venture between UK-based transport giant Serco and Dutch transport operator NedRailways. Once M to Go has been rolled out across the network, the two companies plan to use the model for their other UK rail franchises.
“Nisa-Today’s distribution and food retail experience, together with our ability to adapt our services, is attracting high profile organisations,” said Nisa-Today’s group sales director, Andrew Mouse. “We are delighted to be working with Merseyrail.”
Ingrid van Poelgeest, Merseyrail’s customer services director, said: “M to Go will improve quite a few railway stations beyond recognition. We look forward to a successful partnership with Nisa-Today’s.”
A similar venture to M to Go, launched by Costcutter in partnership with Connex, fell through in the summer of 2003 when Connex was told it was losing its south-east franchise because of poor performance.