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THE AUGUST Bank Holiday Weekend helped lift sales at garden centres across the country at the end of the month according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade report.
Houseplants were up 20.69% compared to the same month last year (2018) and outdoor plant sales were up 6.09%. Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “After experiencing soaring temperatures in July, we were hopeful that it would continue into August, however at the beginning of the month we were faced with much wetter weather and even risks of flooding in some parts of the country.
“We had everything crossed for a glorious Bank Holiday weekend and the great British weather didn’t let us down this time as it turned out to be one of the hottest on record. This caused an uplift in sales in more traditional categories and people also enjoyed time in their gardens as furniture and barbecue sales were up 17.82%.
“Hard landscaping sales were also up 11.91% and sales in garden sundries were up 14.15%.” Seed and bulb sales were down -5.98%. Pets and aquatics sales were up 5.78% and gift sales were up 3.88%. Food hall and farm shop sales were up 6.28%, catering was up 7.04% and clothing sales were up 6.62%.
Overall sales for the month were up 8.89% with a year to date change of 7.01%. Will Blake, Director at St Peter’s Garden Centre, said: “August has been an excellent month for us! The weather was perfect really, warm, but not too hot, and occasional showers to help with watering. “Horticultural categories really benefitted from these conditions, with plant sales, sundries, and other related departments all seeing strong growth. In addition, the pleasant weather drove great numbers on furniture and barbecues.
“Houseplants continue to be extremely popular, which is lovely to see. We refitted our houseplant department in June and this seems to have encouraged even more shoppers.”
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. For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.