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THE POSITIVE start to 2019 continued into February (2019) as garden centres across the country saw outdoor plant sales soar according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Sales in outdoor plants were up 61.1% compared to the same month the previous year (2018).
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “This year’s sales figures just prove what a difference the weather can make. In February 2018 we were greeted by the Beast from the East followed by an early Easter washout, which made for a very miserable start to the year, however this year the weather has been much milder, with only a dusting of snow very early on in the month.
“Gardeners have been able to get on with readying their plots for the season. They’ve also been working on hard landscaping as sales are up 58.79% compared to last year.”
Christmas sales were also up 54.92% during February and furniture and barbecue sales were up 33.61%.
Sales in garden sundries were up 29.66%, seed and bulb sales were up 24.5% and houseplant sales were up 16.96%.
Iain added: “So far we have had a very positive start to the year, and long may it continue. Both retailers and suppliers will be mindful of the big figures that came last year when the weather improved in May. Those figures will be difficult to beat.”
Sales in pets and aquatics were up 3.58%, gift sales were up 2.17% and catering sales were up 12.87%.
Clothing sales were up 5.88% and food hall and farm shop sales were up 2.87%.
Overall sales for the month were up 19.91% with a year to date change of 13.71%.
The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement. They are made available mid-month following the end of the prior month after all member garden centres have submitted their results.
The BoT reports allow members to compare their trading positions with other centres.
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.