August up 12.65 per cent in garden centres

Furniture and barbecues and outdoor plants were the big sellers during August according to the Garden Centre Association's Barometer of Trade (BoT) results.

The results showed an increase of 30.62 per cent in furniture and barbecue sales compared to the same month in 2014 with a Year to Date (YTD) change of 9.83 per cent while sales in outdoor plants were 18.2 per cent up with a YTD increase of 8.47 per cent.

Food hall/farm shop sales were up 12.25 per cent compared to August last year with a YTD rise of 7.4 per cent.

Clothing was up 7.74 per cent and 11.33 per cent for the year, while catering was up 10.79 per cent and 8.69 per cent for the year. Houseplants sales were up 12.25 per cent and up by 9.27 per cent on the year to date.

Overall sales were up 12.65 per cent with the year to date change 6.8 per cent up.

GCA chief executive Iain Wylie said: "During August garden centre customers were out in force and making the most of any hints of good weather with the purchasing of furniture and barbecues. It’s great to see sales in outdoor plants were on the up too as people spent time in their gardens before the autumn.

Paradise Park garden centre sales director Mark Gilbert said: "The month of August was once again a month of very varied weather conditions that ultimately favoured the traditional gardener who could enjoy good soil conditions for plenty of extra planting. This was reflected in a 20 per cent growth of outdoor plants sales compared to last year.

"Furniture and BBQ sales showed a good growth over August 2014 in spite of the varied weather conditions previously mentioned. Factors for this included a well-trained and informative sales team that converted a lower footfall for August 2015 into a higher sales figure than 2014, by targeting the right customers. Range also stayed solid and available through the month, helping to beat local competition that had sold off certain summer lines early and not re-stocked."

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