Garden Centre Association figures reveal strong February for houseplants

Garden Centre Association members' houseplant sales were 29.83 per cent up compared to the same month last year. Furniture and barbecues were up 29.22 per cent and clothing was up 57.94 per cent.

Outdoor plants with sales were up 12.1 per cent, garden sundries up 12.8 per cent and hard landscaping up 10.12 per cent.

Sales in pets and aquatics rose by 16.55 per cent, gifts by 25.34 per cent and food hall and farm shop sales by 26.92 per cent.

Catering was 17.9 per cent up and seeds and bulbs sales were 3.76 per cent up.

For the month of February the overall garden centre performance and Year to Date change was 20.92 per cent.

GCA chief executive Iain Wylie said: "After a couple of months of good performances in clothing and gifts, it’s great to see the houseplants category now having its moment. When the winter weather is properly set in it is always nice to be able to bring some much needed colour into the home and one of the best ways to do this is with houseplants, particularly cyclamen and orchids. February was a particularly popular time for houseplants due to Valentine’s Day.

Thetford Garden Centre managing director, Jean Nixon, said: "At Thetford Garden Centre we have always been strong and committed to retailing houseplants. They are now positioned right at the front of the garden centre and are going from strength to strength.

"We also sense that after several years of lacklustre performance in many garden centres, houseplants are starting to gain some real momentum, winning sales back from the supermarkets."

Ben Thompson, Director at Garsons Garden Centre, Esher, which has recently opened a new restaurant, said: "Garsons Esher catering traded 115 per cent up year-on-year for the month of February, 2016.

"Our new restaurant facility and menu offer has proved a hit with customers, and has led to overall garden centre visitor numbers and spend increases. Our spring menu is being launched very soon, and the outdoor dining terrace will also open, providing further capacity."

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