Seed packet sales down in garden centres says analyst

Latest GfK figures show a cool March has led to lower seed packet sales this season.

Image: HW
Image: HW

The packet seeds market has struggled January to June 2015, registering a -3.3 per cent value and -2.0 per cent volume decline year on year, according to industry analyst GfK.

The market’s peak month of March suffered from colder temperatures and less sunshine hours when compared to March 2014. Subsequently this was where most of the sales were lost with the market declining by -7.7 per cent comparing the same month the previous year. 

All sectors have contributed to the market’s value decline this year to date with aromatic the worst performer at -6.7 per cent.

The vegetable market was also down with a decline of -4.0 per cent with pulses not far behind declining by -3.5 per cent.  

Flower seeds was the top performing sector yet still dropped by -1.9 per cent this year. Despite this value decline, however, flower seeds was the only market that registered growth in volume at +5.7 per cent.

Consequently we have seen a drop in the average price of a pack of flower seeds of -7.1 per cent going from £2.03 in 2014 to £1.88 in 2015, said Matt Bradford, GfK account manager for DIY and Garden.

GfK head of home and lifestyle Daniel Fearnley added: "The gardening sector is always impacted by the vagaries of our weather and this June was no exception, here we saw seasonal spend increase across weed killers, pest & disease products, fertilizers, compost and big ticket garden structure solutions.

"While the gardening care products are clearly impacted by our weather the garden structure performance, like other big ticket items, is indicative of consumers feeling it’s the right time to make major purchases and actually doing it."

HTA figures show June 2015 compared with June 2014 was 13 per cent up. The calendar year to the end of June is 10 per cent up on the same period for 2014.

GCA figures show sales were up to 15 per cent overall on 2014 for June 2015 and for the first six months of 2015.

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