THE MORE settled weather in August (2018) meant gardeners were able to get on with their gardening and plant seeds and bulbs.
Compared to last year (2017) sales in seeds and bulbs were up 14.12% according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “Sales in seeds have been very up and down recently. Last month (July, 2018) sales were right down at -18.83% due to the extreme temperatures of the heat wave, but the weather settled down slightly in August and gardeners seemed to get back to succession sowing in the veg plots and planning for the forthcoming seasons. Our member garden centres took delivery of their spring bulbs in August and this, combined with the slightly cooler weather, gave people the impetus to think about their spring displays and purchase and sow seeds for future crops, and get their spring bulbs.
“It was still too hot for outdoor plants, but sales were only marginally down by -0.28%, however, garden centre customers bought foliage and flowers for inside the home instead and houseplant sales were 19.22% up on the previous year, which also illustrates their surge in popularity last year is growing further.”
Garden sundries sales were also up 1.03%, furniture and barbecue sales were up 8.73% and pets and aquatics sales were up 4.84%.
Iain added: “We saw sales in gifts departments up 6.1%, clothing sales up 16.45% and catering was up 8.91%. Food hall and farm shop sales remained static.
“Overall sales for the month were up 5.25% with a year to date change of 1.21%. It’s good to see clothing sales doing so well especially with the headlines recently about High Street retailers.”
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.