Garden centres lose out in growing sector

Sector is growing but garden centres lose share, says HTA

The gardening industry is now worth over £5 billion and gardening is the UK’s most popular hobby. But although garden centres are experiencing the highest level of loyalty among consumers, their share is being eroded by the growing number of other retail outlets selling garden products. The figures are published in the latest report from Garden Industry Monitor, the market research programme of the Horticultural Trades Association. The report shows that 62 per cent of all households in the UK bought something for their garden during the year ending June 2002, spending on average £305 per household. The £5 billion figure is 20 per cent up on the value from the year before. The research also shows that around 60 per cent of UK homes are active in the gardening market. Talking of the erosion of garden centres’ share, HTA marketing manager Lee Appleyard said: “Consumers have access through the traditional high street retailers, such as the Co-op and large out-of-town supermarkets, which seize the seasonal sales opportunities offered by bedding plants, tools and other garden equipment.” According to the HTA, the trend looks extremely unlikely to change in the coming years. It is urging its members to encourage more people to buy garden products and services, saying that if an extra one per cent were encouraged into the market, this could provide an additional £75 million in sales for the industry.

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