Brexit "implications" for garden centres in 2017 says GCA

Garden Centre Association chief executive Iain Wylie has said macro issues such as Brexit have yet to hit garden retail consumers, and despite diversification, the weather was still leading garden centre sales.

GCA chief execuive Iain Wylie
GCA chief execuive Iain Wylie

Wylie said: "In the simple microcosm of retail, I don’t think bigger issues such as Brexit have had much effect. I’m sure there will be implications going forward, but in the short-term garden centre trade has been good when the weather has been good.

"Willingness to spend money in garden centres has reflected the inconsistencies of the weather."

But Wylie added: "There have been some massive changes of late and I’m not sure where that will filter through to garden centres, perhaps for Christmas and garden furniture buying for 2017. But from a retail perspective, deals have been done for this year."

GIMA chief executive Vicky Nuttall has said exchange rates will have "an impact on prices that "will have to be" passed on.

Some suppliers have said the weak pound means imported goods price rises will come in, with Glee in September seeing new price lists.

Wylie said some expansion plans may have been put on hold: "The effect may be people may reconsider until they see how things work out. It’s as much about availability of money for investment and people’s job security as anything else."

He acknowledged that prices "might well go up" due to exchange rate changes and National Living Wage hikes brought in on 1 April.

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