HTA market analysis for 2013 confirms plant sales hit hardest by poor spring weather

The 2014 HTA Garden Market Retail Analysis, published this week, shows that the market was slightly down in 2013 with plant sales hardest hit due to the very cold March and April weather.

Garden centre customers
Garden centre customers

The report, published this week, and previewed in HW last week, notes changes in the number and size of gardens and the levels of home ownership are key factors that will impact the market over the coming years.

Around 1.5 million fewer people now than in 2007 claim to have a garden or allotment, with around 40 per cent of this fall attributable to changes in Greater London.

Falls in home ownership are now very significant among under 35s versus historic levels back to 1987. This is significant as renters tend to spend around 55 per cent of the amount that home owners do on gardens. It was levels of increasing home ownership through the late 80s and early 90s helped fuel the Ground Force ‘boom’ in garden spending. 

As these consumers continue to enjoy gardening, opportunities may emerge for providing products and services to enable them to continue to enjoy gardening into old age, the report suggests.

The projected fall in spending among the 35-64s in 10 years time attributable to falling home ownership equates to approximately two per cent of market value, rising to approximately six per cent of market value in 20 years. 

HTA chief executive Carol Paris said: "Given that per capita spend on gardens tends to be higher in some countries on the continent where home ownership is low, this is as much as opportunity as a threat at this stage to engage renting households in their gardens".

She added: "Easy and portable solutions that enable people to take their garden with them when they move are going to become even more important as we encourage younger gardeners to enjoy their outdoor space. Future building polices and developments such as the Garden City initiative will also provide further potential opportunities if the wide benefits of plants and gardens to society and the environment are taken into account."

The 2014 report includes a breakdown of data for the regions plus Scotland and Wales on garden spend, access to gardens, changes in age profile of the population and home ownership.


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