We asked retailers about sales during the recent bank holidays and why they think garden retailing is booming this spring.

How did gardening sales fare over the extended spring holidays?

 RETAILER

"In a word 'massive'. Months of pre-planning, followed by - I'm pleased to say - a faithful execution, supported strong gardening sales performance and year-on-year growth. Plant sales were up about 60 per cent on last year, with Good Friday being particularly strong. Great support from all horticultural suppliers and our two UK and EU managers drove this, along with the obvious impact of favourable weather.

Gez Smith, head of horticulture, Focus

PARTNER

"Business was fantastic and if anyone says different - unless they had bad weather - they should sell up. The forecast was good for all three days so no one worried the weather would turn.

The end result was three exceptionally good days, with plants selling great for all three of them. Records were achieved in all other areas."

Andy Bunker, Alton Garden Centre

SALES DIRECTOR

"Dobbies experienced a record-breaking Easter weekend in almost every area. Our restaurants were also busy. In our plants section, there was strong demand for bedding plants, grow-you-own vegetables and flowers which can be planted in hanging baskets and containers. Our core gardening sales were driven in the main by our new Essentials range and customers picked up everything from outdoor furniture to barbecues in our outdoor living section."

Phil Douty, Dobbies

MANAGING DIRECTOR

"We can't complain with weather like that. On Good Friday we were 70 per cent up like-for-like against last year. Plants sold best. I thought last year we would see a reasonable increase in hardy nursery stock sales but that did not come to fruition. This year there has been a very big uptake of shrubs though. Compost has also sold well to go with the plants. I was at our Lady Green centre and it was marked how many trolleys had both plants and compost in them.

Bob Hewitt, Klondyke


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