Garden centre retail sales pick up ahead of Christmas

The last weekend before Christmas has finally provided some festive cheer for retailers, showing an increase of 11.8 per cent in the preliminary Experian FootFall UK National Index, compared to the same weekend last year.

Mild weather is helping garden retail sales - image: HW
Mild weather is helping garden retail sales - image: HW

Garden centre bosses also saw good sales. Stewarts Gardenlands owner Martin Stewart said: "We're well up on two years ago which is what matters because last year it snowed. We've had a record December on both sites. We have our Christmas and catering offer just right."

Alton Garden centre director Andy Bunker said: "Saturday the 10th was a real bumper day and where sales are level more money is being taken which is good news."

He said Christmas tree sales were going well: "For me it means the customer is not purchasing as many so called value trees."

The overall retail increase is largely due to last year’s cold snap, when heavy snow made driving conditions too hazardous, forcing shoppers to stay at home.

Putting this into perspective, footfall on the same Saturday in 2010 was down 14 per cent on 2009’s figure.

Experian said: "This year, Saturday’s year-on-year figure was up 17.3 per cent. As always, it appears that shoppers continue to delay their shopping. With multiple options available in terms of shopping channels, there is no surprise that High streets and shopping centres experience their surge in shopper’s right at the last minute.

"With less than a week to Christmas, the momentum in shoppers should continue to increase; consumers will also be hoping that retailers will be panicked into price cuts, allowing for them to bag the ultimate bargains.

"If the mild weather that is forecast up to Christmas continues to hold true, then planned shopping trips this week will not be jeopardised. Overall, the weekend has seen an exceptional performance especially compared to what has generally been reported in the past four weeks.

"There is every opportunity given the anticipated last minute rush of shoppers for the final shopping week to Christmas, that high street stores and shopping centres are still able to make this festive season a lucrative one."

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

Are garden centres taking business from department stores?

Are garden centres taking business from department stores?

Can other garden centres learn from Petersham Nurseries and the fusion of retail elements in its new Covent Garden outlet?

Consolidation reaching ever further across horticulture

Consolidation reaching ever further across horticulture

Consolidation is stretching across the nursery and retail horticulture sectors, with Dutch corporate finance company Oaklins saying the horticulture market is now going through another wave of consolidation.

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

There are 11,700 electric car-charging points across the UK but only eight at garden centres, so more can be done to take the opportunity in garden retail.

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

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

Our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles