Garden Centre Association chief executive Iain Wylie said: "It's been a pretty positive month. The sunshine created demand." The month was the hottest September since records began in 1910.
Outdoor plant sales were up 15 per cent and are six per cent up year-to-date. Garden sundries were up 15 per cent, with watering doing well. Furniture and barbecue sales were up more than 20 per cent, with Christmas sales also well up. Catering was up five per cent and seeds and bulbs were static. Food hall and farm shop were down.
UK retail sales were down 2.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis from September 2013, when they had increased 0.7 per cent on the preceding year. On a total basis, sales were down 0.8 per cent, against a 2.4 per cent rise in September 2013. This is the weakest performance since December 2008, excluding Easter distortions.
Clothing and footwear were the worst-performing categories, which the British Retail Consortium blamed on the hot weather.