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GARDEN centres across the country saw a positive start to the year (January, 2019) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report with houseplant and outdoor plant sales dominating.
Compared to the same month the previous year (2018), houseplant sales were 16.96% up and outdoor plant sales were up 13.03%.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “Towards the end of 2018, we saw much milder weather than we’re used to and our customers were able to spend more time outdoors preparing their beds and plots for the coming season. This continued into January with good sales in outdoor plants and houseplants bringing a positive start to the year and the expectation of a buoyant spring season.”
Seed and bulb sales were up 5.32% and sales in garden sundries were up 9.02%.
Sales in pets and aquatics departments were up 9.03% and hard landscaping sales were up 1.82%.
Food hall and farm shop sales were up 4.22% and catering sales were up 10.35%. Clothing sales were down -2.91%.
Iain added: “Christmas sales were up 12.39% which indicates that some centres may have had more stock to clear or that they have cleared a greater percentage of stock remaining after the festive period with less stock to store and carry over. It is very pleasing to see a double digit increase in houseplants again, as the category’s resurgence continues.
“Customers seem keen to bring some ‘life’ into their homes to fill the gap left when the Christmas decorations come down.
“Overall sales for the month were up 7.6% - a positive start to 2019!”
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.