The economic downturn and weather conditions had a particularly negative affect on the market in 2012, but the market recovered in 2013, and grew by an estimated seven per cent in 2014.
However growth in 2015 onwards is likely to be more modest, AMA's ‘Domestic Garden Landscaping Materials Market Report - UK 2015-2019 Analysis’ reported.
AMA Research director Andrew Hartley said: "Key factors influencing market performance include the housing market, consumer confidence & spending, and levels of interest in gardening as a hobby or to grow produce, as well as the trend for gardens to be seen as an extension to the home and al fresco dining. In addition, the mature structure of most sectors and the growth in internet sales are also important as they tend to drive down average prices and increase price competition in the market."
AMA added: "The strong growth levels seen in 2014 were mainly due to favourable weather, an improving economy and increasing consumer confidence & spending. Annual growth rates in the market are heavily influenced by prevailing weather conditions, as seen in 2012 and 2014 in particular. Though the overall performance of the UK economy impacts on the market, it tends to cope well with economic downturns and has not suffered as badly as some other consumer markets.
"Key product sectors in the UK domestic landscaping materials market are horticulture, which accounts for just under half of the market by value, hard landscaping and garden decoration. Since the start of the economic downturn, sectors of the landscaping materials market have performed differently, with sectors such as paving and decking declining, whilst sectors associated with ‘grow your own’ (GYO) have experienced overall growth.
"Distribution of landscaping material is complex and fragmented, with products distributed through a wide range of channels. Key channels include DIY multiples, garden centres, builders’ merchants and mail order & internet businesses. Going forward, internet retailing is expected to continue to gain share as consumers seek greater value for money and convenience, with delivery of hard landscaping products a key issue. Garden centres are increasingly addressing this issue and it is likely that those companies prepared to evolve their formats and develop their offering will perform better than others in the future.
"Garden centres are increasingly seen as ‘destination centres’ and have expanded their product ranges with the aim of weatherproofing their businesses to some extent. Trends that may benefit the market include increasing demand for artificial grass, permeable paving and other environmental friendly options (e.g. solar lighting) and container & ‘vertical gardening’.
"Predicting future performance in this market is difficult due to its dependency on the weather, as well as continued uncertainty regarding the pace of recovery in consumer confidence. However, housebuilding and house moving levels have improved recently and this is forecast to continue, stimulating growth in this sector. As the economy improves and consumer spending grows it is expected that the market will benefit from pent up demand for landscaping projects that have been deferred during the economic downturn and is forecast to exceed a value of £1bn by 2019."