Garden centres report increased August sales

August sales were up in garden centres despite wet weather.

Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker said August saw an increase in sales in the planteria of more than 26 per cent on 2014 and the last four months consecutively were the best ever in 44 years, with sales up a "mouth-watering" 14 per cent cumulatively on the year. Overall in the whole centre, August was 19 per cent up, with year-to-date sales eight per cent up.

Garden Centre Association chief executive Iain Wylie said: "Most garden centres had a positive summer and were busier this summer than they were five or six years ago." This is because garden centres are better at being destinations with more children's events and are now a place to visit on holiday for many, he explained.

The Met Office said: "Despite a dry and sunny June and a brief 'heatwave' at the start of July, summer overall has been cooler than average and cooler than either summer 2013 or 2014. It has also been wetter than average, despite near average sunshine.

"Using provisional figures, the UK mean temperature for this summer was 13.9 degsC. This is 0.4 degsC below the 1981-2010 long-term average. Rainfall overall is slightly higher than average, with the UK having seen 272mm - 13 per cent above the long-term average. However, across southern and eastern England this rain has often come from short, heavy downpours interspersed with fine, dry days."

HTA figures show the 2015 calendar year to the end of July was nine per cent up on 2014, with July sales up by nine per cent.

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