Core gardening and food sales up but garden centre sector flat

Garden centre turnover for the week from 27 August to 2 September was almost exactly the same as in the same week as 2011, according to Horticulture Week analysis.

Garden centre: sales flat last month
Garden centre: sales flat last month

Outdoor plants were one per cent up, aquatics were four per cent down, books three per cent down, Christmas 30 per cent down, clothing and toys flat, craft 10 per cent down, food 10 per cent up, furniture eight per cent down, sundries flat, gifts four per cent up, houseplants flat, machinery 80 per cent up, pets flat and catering 10 per cent up.

Sales of one litre alpines were 20 per cent up but 9cm alpines were six per cent down. Chrysantheum sales were strong, as were bulb sales.

Pansy and viola six pack sales were less than half of than last year, while 9cm and one litre gherb sales were up to 90 per cent up. Compost sales were around 10 per cent up, while LED lights and birdfood were around 25 per cent up like-for-like.

BDO’s August High Street Sales Tracker show like-for-like sales at mid-tier retailers dipped by 0.5 per cent in August.
Weak consumer confidence and a static housing market took their toll on homewares sales, which struggled for a second month running, down 8.7 per cent, said BDO.

Olympic souvenirs sales helped the non-fashion sector see a like-for-like rise of 3.1 per cent.
BDO retail and wholesale head Don Williams said Olympic afterglow "may well see consumer confidence rise steadily and for this to feed through into high street sales".

He added: "People are still buying from trusted brands, even without discounts, so it is important retailers stick to their guns, especially when it comes to promotions, rather than trying to steal a march on rivals through hastily-planned sales."

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