Year-on-year sales for garden centres in January were up 9.1 per cent according to BDO LLP.
Milder weather and continued discounting gave a welcome boost to mid-market retailers and helped ensure a particularly strong first half of January, said BDO. While the year-on-year figures were boosted by comparisons with weeks affected by heavy snowfall in the early days of 2010, there was growth across the board.
Fashion sales increased by 10% on sales in January 2010 while non-fashion rose by 6.8%.
At 10.5 per cent, homewares sales were also strong, with shoppers flocking to take advantage of ‘VAT busting’ offers that held VAT at 17.5 per cent past the 4 January rise to 20 per cent.
Online purchases were up by an 49 per cent - growth rates not seen in nearly a year, with clothing sales particularly positive.
Retailers are reaping the rewards from consumers’ love affair with internet shopping, with approximately £1 in every £5 forked out by consumers now spent online.
See Horticulture Week 12 February for more.