Garden Centre Association members see strong November sales

Garden centres sold more Christmas products, plants and gifts this November, the Garden Centre Association has reported.

The GCA Barometer of Trade results for November 2014 compared to November 2013 showed Christmas sales up 23.53 per cent, catering sales 9.71 per cent up, outdoor plants up 10.9 per cent and houseplants 11.88 per cent up.

Furniture and barbecues were up 5.54 per cent and gifts were 7.15 per cent up.

Overall sales for the month were almost 10 per cent up and year-to-date sales are about 10 per cent up on average too.

Langlands director James Ducker said: "Catering and Christmas were winners for Langlands in November.

Catering was up 19 per cent at our Leeds store and five per cent up at our Shiptonthorpe store. Our farm shop in Leeds was 50 per cent up.We also had an excellent month on Christmas with Shiptonthorpe up 22 per cent and Leeds 41 per cent."

Whitehall Garden Centres, which has stores in Bristol and Lacock, has seen its Christmas sales grow due to building a ‘Christmas experience’ for its customers and a leisure day out.

Managing director Peter Self said: "Our sales growth is down to us focusing on building a ‘Christmas experience’ and a leisure day out. The areas we have focused on are more investment in stock, especially electrical and artificial trees, decorations and novelties.

"Our festive ice rink at Lacock has been enlarged to 125 skaters per session and for the first time, we are expecting more than 25,000 skaters. Our Santa’s grottos are building in reputation and should see more than 40,000 visitors across our two centres.

Squires Garden Centres has also seen an improvement in its Christmas sales.

Managing director Dennis Espley said: "We have really focused our efforts on driving Christmas sales, with our improved displays, revised ranges and more stock of promotional lines. The result at the end of November in this category was 25 per vent up on the previous year."

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