GCA figures show July 2% increase

Member garden centre sales showed an average overall increase for the month of 2% and a year to date growth of 4%.

Compared to the same month last year (2016), houseplant sales were up 13.95%. Other good sellers during the month included clothing, up 14.4% and catering, up 9.8%.

Seeds and bulbs sales were 7.86% up and food hall and farm shop sales were 0.17% up. Outdoor plants were down -0.22%. garden sundries were down -3.93% and furniture and barbecue sales were also down -3.2%.

Pets and aquatics sales were up 3.92% and hard landscaping was down -0.17%.

GCA chief executive Iain Wylie said: "It was great to see houseplant sales on the increase during July, however it couldn’t beat off the stiff competition from clothing sales, which have been the top seller for the third month in a row."

Philip Gass, director at Creative Gardens, said: "July was a good month for us with strong sales increases across the board. The business as a whole saw sales grow 16.5% on July 2016 figures, this increase was boosted by recent improvement works to our Bushmills centre. Our other two locations, Donaghadee and Galgorm Castle, showed growth of around 6%.

"When compared to the same month last year the following departments saw excellent growth: barbecues up 79%, furniture up 117%, helped by increased floor space and better levels of stock, food, confectionary and catering performed well with growth of just under 10%.

"Plant departments did well despite the wet weather, with sales increases of 13% on outdoor plants and 17% on houseplant sales. Our transaction count was up 10.2% on the previous July and our average spend increased by 5.7%. 

Justin Williams, managing director at Fron Goch Garden Centre, said: "We had an excellent July, 40% up on a reasonable July last year (2016). Garden and furniture and clothing formed the backbone of the increase with a continued strong performance from plants. Plants have been well performing since last September."


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