Plants up 14.5 per cent in October says Garden Centre Association

Garden centre sales were up in October according to the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) results.

Will Armitage
Will Armitage

The results showed hard landscaping sales were 25.84 per cent up, furniture and barbeques 18.75 per cent up and outdoor plants 14.5 per cent up as compared to October, 2013. Sundries were up 11.96 per cent, houseplants 7.16 per cent, Christmas 6.07 per cent and catering 4.67 per cent.

Overall sales are about eight per cent up in the year to October 2014 compared to the year to October 2013, and were about eight per cent up overall for October compared to October 2014, helped by the third warmest autumn on record.

GCA chairman Will Armitage said: "The cooler weather certainly hasn’t put gardeners off from getting out into their gardens.

"We know that October is a great month to plant all sorts of things such as spring flowering bulbs, shrubs, evergreens and fruit trees. With many garden centres getting behind campaigns like the HTA’s ‘Plan it, Plant it this Autumn’ it seems to have helped make people aware of the opportunities to be had. This has almost certainly helped contribute to the strong outdoor plant figures seen by many of our members.

"Hard landscaping was the best performing category for a second month running with people taking the opportunity to make changes to their outdoor spaces before it gets colder. 

Justin Williams, Director at Fron Goch Garden Centre in Caernarfon, said: "We had an exceptional October, with good sales in all departments. Christmas was up 44 per cent on last October and I think it’s all down to getting the ‘details’ right. Fine tuning and learning from a mini Christmas study tour we did last year and opening our Christmas display at the right time, getting merchandising and displays right as well as the marketing. 

"Catering was 11.6 per cent up last month, which I think was down to us consistently delivering high standards of food and service, combined with developing three keys areas: Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea; filling those covers all day long if possible."

Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group, said: "Despite the wet, October was a strong month for sales of core gardening especially winter bedding, bulbs, herbaceous, shrubs and trees. Fruit also did well. The half-term holiday saw a good boost to trade and this footfall really gave Christmas a good launch. Autumn as a whole has been very positive across the board including restaurant sales."

In Northern Ireland Creative Gardens Limited, which has centres in Donaghadee, Bushmills has seen mild weather lead to a rise in sales.

Philip Gass, finance and marketing director at Creative Gardens, said: "In October our like for like sales comparing 2013 with 2014 were up 4.8 per cent at our Donaghadee store and 6.6 per cent at our Bushmills store. The main growth at both centres came from the same areas including strong, early Christmas sales, outdoor plants up by 13 per cent, fruit and veg and houseplants sales up by 51 per cent and 67 per cent and some good late barbecue sales.

"The biggest financial increase came from good café and food sales, which were up by 10.8 per cent. Generally the weather has been kind to us in Northern Ireland, reasonably mild and not too much rain, which always works in our favour."



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

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.

Why are small garden centre groups expanding?

Why are small garden centre groups expanding?

After Coolings bought a third site in Kent this October, what is driving garden centres to add extra locations to their offer?

Is targetting younger buyers a distraction for garden centres?

Is targetting younger buyers a distraction for garden centres?

Garden centres may be better off looking towards their traditional demographic than chasing young customers.


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