Sales rise in 2010 but future still uncertain, says Klondyke executive

Klondyke managing director Bob Hewitt says this year has brought small sales rises but the future is more uncertain economically.

He said plant sales are up on last year but not by a huge percentage considering people lost a lot of plants in the cold winter - "the kickback of increased plant sales didn't happen".

Hewitt said trade had done well despite financial pressures but would be "tough moving forward, with tax rises and talk of unemployment rising".

He added: "Garden centres still have the huge advantage of relatively low customer spend, compared to people selling cars for instance."

Hewitt said VAT rises in January of 2.5 per cent would not have a big effect. Following the Solex show his main worry is rising freight and labour costs causing Chinese stock to increase in price. He said: "Higher prices are expected."

Norfolk Leisure Acamp chief operating officer Debbie Waudby said worker and container shortages in China have yet to be fully resolved. She believed that there are "obviously" going to be price increases for 2011, which she estimates at between 15 and 20 per cent industry-wide.

Waudby also has concerns about the VAT rate potentially going up to 20 per cent. She said: "This is a bit scary. My experience is that garden centres' customers want suppliers to absorb increases and still make their big margins. It has been difficult to work out prices as the dollar has been falling through the floor."

Hewitt said hosepipe bans in the North West, where nine of the group's 25 centres are, will not hit too hard because they come after the main plant-selling season.

LIKE-FOR-LIKE SALES
Year starting 1 October:
- Overall sales up 5 per cent
- Shrubs up 1.5 per cent
- Bedding up 2.4 per cent
- Furniture and barbecues no change
- Catering no change


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

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

Electric car charging: an opportunity for garden centres?

There are 11,700 electric car-charging points across the UK but only eight at garden centres, so more can be done to take the opportunity in garden retail.

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

Dazzling display of new plants at Four Oaks Trade Show 2017

A wide range of first-time exhibitors and established names will showcase a wealth of new varieties at September's Four Oaks Trade Show, says Matthew Appleby.

Product and service showcase

Product and service showcase

Fresh solutions to production problems can be found among the array of products and services being introduced at the Four Oaks Trade Show, Sally Drury reports.


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

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES

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