GfK reports mixed year for garden care as it warns on Brexit

Retail market analysts GfK have reported slug killer, lawn seed sales up while powered gardening sales were down.


Garden care has had a mixed performance so far in 2016. After April saw double digit decline, May, the highest value month, was dry and sunny, causing an increase in total garden care value by 14 per cent year-on-year. June of this year was wetter than in 2015, and saw a decline of 7.6 per cent.

The slug killer market  increased 19.1 per cent in value in January to June of 2016 from the same period in 2015. Slug killer sales grew by 52.5 per cent in June year-on-year.

Lawn seed value sales have increased 11.2 per cent.

Powered gardening volumes were down by 4.3 per cent in the first half of 2016, though value went up by 0.7 per cent.  Only scarifiers and blow vacs achieved volume growth in year-on-year comparisons, although were joined by lawnmowers and grass trimmers for value growth.

Across powered gardening, the hot segment has been cordless, going up by 14.4 per cent in volume terms and 21.3 per cent in value.  Cordless lawnmowers grew by 88 per cent in volume terms, and hedge trimmers continued to improve, growing by four per cent.  Grass trimmers became the leading cordless segment through 15 per cent volume growth. With ongoing research and investment in battery technologies, cordless gardening is set to continue to develop.

Lawnmowers remain the largest powered gardening segment, and achieved 2.1 per cent value growth despite a 0.9 per cent volume decline.  Lawnmower value growth was strongly driven by the leading segment of electric rotary, with electric hover also driving value growth.

With robotic lawnmowers having achieved 73.2 per cent volume growth year-on-year.

Meanwhile, GfK’s monthly Consumer Confidence Index dropped 11 points in July from -1 to -12. The survey dates back to 1974 and July sees the sharpest month-by-month drop for more than 26 years, since March 1990. This is also a further 3-point drop from the -9 recorded by the Brexit Special in early July. All five measures used to calculate the Index saw decreases this month.

GfK market dynamics head Joe Staton said: "Consumers in post-Brexit Britain are reporting higher levels of concern this month. We’ve seen a very significant drop in confidence, as is clear from the fall in each of our key measures, with the biggest decrease occurring in the outlook for the general economic situation in the next 12 months (-19 points). Although the rate of decline is slower than reported in the aftermath of the vote to leave the EU, consumers in the UK were also less optimistic about the state of their personal financial situation going forward (-9 points). However, the Index continues to remain at a relatively elevated level by historic standards. Its future trajectory depends on whether we enter a new period of damaging economic uncertainty or restore confidence by embracing a positive stance on negotiating a new deal for the UK."

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