LOFA hopes to build outdoor living market share through fire safety assurance scheme

The Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association is raising awareness of the fire safety standards/regulations for garden cushions in a bid to boost sales of its members' products.

Solex LOFA
Solex LOFA

The LOFAssured initiative will launch at LOFA's annual trade show Solex, at Birmingham NEC on 11-13 July.

Each year LOFA commissions Shoppercentric to survey people on their outdoor furniture and barbecue buying habits. 

The overall market is £1.2bn, with 48% bought in-store, 26% from pure etailers and 26% from multichannel retailers. LOFA member sales account for around half that market and it hopes the initiative will increase that share.

The market size was £1.2bn in 2015, when two-fifths of UK households bought in outdoor living categories, but LOFA believes 2017 has been a good year for the sector, and has even seen some shortages.

GCA figures show furniture and barbecue sales were up 37% in April but were down 12% in May. They look to have picked up since and sales are still going during the warm summer.

Prices could rise further in 2018 after some companies held them following the post-Brexit vote weakening of sterling against the dollar. They hoped sterling might recover but it hasn’t and remains 18-20% behind pre-June 2016 levels, which has to be absorbed or passed on.

46% of those surveyed by Shoppercentric planned to buy barbecues in 2017.  71% planned to buy furniture and 59% accessories.

People are looking to buy more outdoor armchairs, smaller tables to compliment sets and lounge and dining sets, according to the survey.

Other findings include:

  • Younger buyers are after hanging seats, children’s furniture and beanbags.
  • Gas barbecue sales have fallen after a prolonged upward swing, while charcoal is up.
  • The biggest trend is for wood-fired pizza ovens, with sales up 50%.
  • Trends include to buy larger shade sails rather than simple parasols.
  • Some 98% already own furniture, with 87% owning accessories and 82% barbecues.

In the last survey, 8% spent a lot more than they expected on products, 55% spent what they expected and 18% spent less, with 19% other.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Garden centre and nursery experiences: the next big trend in 2018?

Garden centre and nursery experiences: the next big trend in 2018?

Reports say today's shoppers are as keen to take in "experiences" as they are to shop - and garden centres say they are well-placed to take in the trend.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

What benefits can buying an extra garden centre bring to retail owners?

What benefits can buying an extra garden centre bring to retail owners?

More garden centres are adding an extra location to their offer - Coolings in Kent being the most recent example of the trend. But why are they doing it - and what are the benefits?


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation
 

Read latest articles