The Starbucks format was transferred to catering company SSP effective 9 January 2019, and Smullers went to Lagardère effective 1 February 2019. The rental contracts for these two formats mark the completion of the process of ‘transferring retail formats to the market’. With its retail business, NS now serves customers on a daily basis through its own formats Kiosk, StationsHuiskamers (Station Living Rooms), Railcatering, Julia’s, vending machines and the two franchise formats of Albert Heijn to go and Rituals. 2019 saw a particular focus on the continued development of the Railcatering and Julia’s formats, optimisation and restructuring of the new concept for Kiosk and restyling the Station Living Room.
Our ambition to encourage customers to make responsible choices at the stations is reflected, for example, in the new Kiosks and the experimental outlet for sustainable products set up in collaboration with AH to go at Utrecht CS. Customers have a choice of responsible items from a seasonal range produced locally and/or sustainably. The outlet features an interior made of recycled train materials and uses as little packaging material as possible to minimise waste.
Improvements to formats
The Railcatering and Julia’s formats have been improved, now featuring a revamped range of food items for the various moments of the day and a new overall look. At Julia's, passengers can compose and order their meals using a 'place your order' column or through the apps of Foodsy and Thuisbezorgd. They will then find their meal waiting for them when they arrive at the station.
In 2019, 17 Kiosk stores were converted to the new concept, which emphasises a variable range adapted to the various moments of the day, an eye for sustainability in interior design and the promotion of responsible food choices among customers. The optimisation project also involves the first stage in the roll-out of self-scanning checkouts. In addition, the 24 snack vending machines at Utrecht CS have been revamped and now allow contactless payment.