Clothing and catering style it out serving up good GCA BoT figures

The GARDEN Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (Bot) for April which were released on May 21st, showing clothing and catering to be leading the way in comparison to the same month last year.

With a positive, 3.77%, year-to-date variance, however, 10 of the 13 categories were recorded as being down, when compared to April 2023, according to the organisation’s member garden centres figures.

GCA GC Cafe Customers - with GCA BoT figures showing Clothing and Catering increasingThe GCA CEO Peter Burks, explains: “As expected, with Easter having fallen in March this year, the April figures do not look very encouraging and definitely back-up the sentiments I heard on my visits to our members during the month.

“Our smaller centres did much better than the larger ones, actually managing to be up a little bit, but overall, the average was down by 5%. There were only two categories producing positive results – clothing and, once again, catering, which is still coming good and suggesting that there were plenty of people in the centres, but the weather was stopping them from buying plants, furniture and other gardening items.

“However, it’s not all doom and gloom as anecdotal evidence from our members suggests May has already started off well, boosted by the much better weather. We’ve had one reasonably good Bank Holiday and hope the next one to come will be even nicer.”

Excluding the miscellaneous section (+21.33%), the GCA’s top performing category in April 2024 was clothing, up +14.43%, when compared to the same month in 2023. This was followed by catering +13.05%.

GCA Carden Centre CuppaFood hall/farm shop came in next at -1.28%, then hard landscaping at -1.5%, garden sundries at -1.97%, gifts -2.44%, seeds & bulbs -2.74%, houseplants -5.99%, pet & aquatics -6.76%, and Christmas at -7.96%.

Bringing up the rear were outdoor plants at -10.25% and furniture & BBQs -11.08%.

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 allows members to compare their trading positions with other centres.

The GCA represents more than 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

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