The HTA Garden Market Retail Analysis 2013 has been published and reports that while 2012's wet April and May hit garden retail sales last year, changing population is driving longer term opportunities and challenges to the industry.
HTA director general Carol Paris said: "2012 was a tough year for the garden industry. The wet weather combined with the effects of low consumer confidence and increasing competition has been challenging."
She added: "Older, affluent consumers do remain comparatively insulated from the economic downturn, standing the industry and particularly garden centres in good stead.
"But younger consumers’ spending on gardening is increasingly squeezed by the stuttering economy and falling levels of home ownership. Finding ways of getting these consumers into gardening and adapting to how they shop is going to become increasingly important for us in the coming years."
The Garden Market Retail Analysis 2013 shows varying performances for different garden categories.
Overall spending on garden products was down by 14 per cent compared with 2011. Consumer spending on garden furniture by contrast was down 21 per cent as consumers made increasing use of the internet to research and make purchases in the category. Garden plants were down by 11 per cent compared with the previous year.
The report shows opportunities to appeal to customers’ desires for natural, authentic goods, home entertaining and socialising, and "the satisfaction to be gained from a great looking garden". More than six out of ten British adults visited a garden centre in 2012.
For more details of the report and to download a free executive summary visit www.the-hta.org.uk/marketinformation