Differences in weather create north-south divide

A north-south divide in garden centre sales is opening up. Weather differences have led to northern centres being 40 per cent down on 2009 while southern centres were level with last year this Easter.

Northumberland-based Cowell's Garden Centre owner Alan Cowell said Easter was poor because of ground conditions, temperatures and weather.

"No-one has any enthusiasm. If it's not the weather then we're in deep trouble. We've not had a good run of weather yet. We were 40 per cent behind on last Easter, though last April was incredible.

"People are not going to bother with certain spring lines. A lot of herbaceous has hardly shown any growth. It's not rooting properly and there are no good light levels." He said tomato plants were not selling because gardeners did not want to have to heat greenhouses.

"If it doesn't pick up there will be some very scared garden centre owners. Last year we had a good time but it ended up being not so good because of the long winter.

"From 16 December my business might as well have closed the gate. Wage bills don't get any less and gas and electricity have gone through the roof. We're not taking enough to cover the costs."

In the south, Cambridge-based Scotsdales managing director Caroline Owen said Easter was "a lot better than we expected. The weather turned out well." South-east-based chain Squires was even with Easter 2009.

GCA chief executive Gillie Westwood said: "There is definitely a north-south divide. It is all weather-related."

Easter Sales

Worcestershire-based Webbs Garden Centre: "Easter was much better than expected, with sales down 8.5 per cent against last year - pretty good considering the awful weather."

South coast-based Haskins: "Bird care was up 10 per cent, food five per cent, Easter gifts 14 per cent and food five per cent.

Chester-based Grosvenor Garden Centre: "It was a disappointing weekend compared to last year but far better than when we had feared the worst earlier in the week."

Lothian-based Dobbies: "We obviously had a disappointing Easter weekend due to the extremely adverse weather."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

GroSouth 2017 update

GroSouth 2017 update

First-time and established exhibitors are preparing to showcase products and services at this year's show in West Sussex, Gavin McEwan reports.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Vine weevil

Avoid costly damage by this serious plant pest.


Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Opinion... Pepper breeders' wealth of knowledge

Peter Seabrook looks forward to garden centre pepper-tasting weekends.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles