Christmas sales boost garden centres

Garden retailers report significant increase in seasonal sales as consumer optimism returns.

Christmas: sales higher by up to a quarter thanks to festive products
Christmas: sales higher by up to a quarter thanks to festive products

A brighter forecast for the economy has led to Christmas sales being higher by up to a quarter since festive product went on the shelves in October, auguring well for garden centre cash flow for next year.

Blue Diamond managing director Alan Roper said: "We're up 22 per cent on Christmas this year because there's a certain amount of consumer optimism."

He added: "Footfall on the high street was down in October and I expected it to be stronger in the garden centre because last year was so wet, but the customers coming are spending more on Christmas. They've obviously decided they have money and are going to push the boat out."

Figures supplied to HW from garden centres have consistently put Christmas as a around a quarter of turnover and up by a quarter on last year over the previous six weeks.

Nick Davies, who resigned as Solus managing director last week to be replaced by former Gardman chief executive Mark Pearson, said: "The back end of the year turned round well. It was not a record year for Solus but we've had a fantastic last quarter and a record July.

"Christmas is going extremely well in garden centres so it's looking positive. We don't do Christmas lines but we do a lot of related Christmas products."

He added that bird care has been 20 per cent down this mild autumn but will spike as the weather turns.

MorePeople director Guy Moreton added: "We're having lots of strategic conversations about growing businesses in 2014 rather than just keeping profitability and turnover as it was."

Davies leaves Solus to start new business

Solus managing director Nick Davies is to start an unnamed new business following his departure from the garden products wholesaler, manufacturer and distributor.

Davies said he spoke to Gardman earlier this year about a job but had repeatedly denied he was leaving following the appointment of founder Simon Yealland's son Ross as commercial director.

Meanwhile, Gardman sales director Bernard Shannon, who was appointed in April, is set to leave in the New Year as part of a change in management at the business following new investment in late 2012.

The garden centre supplier is set to move its headquarters to Peterborough, where it has a showroom, from Moulton, where previous owner Paris Natar is the landlord.

Up to 18 staff among the company's 230 employees are being asked to consider voluntary redundancy.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next



The range of colours and flowering times makes for cheerful and economic displays, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Why are supplier shows and meet-the-buyers events gaining popularity?

Why are supplier shows and meet-the-buyers events gaining popularity?

Retailer shows are becoming more popular as garden centres seek to strengthen bonds with suppliers at these behind-closed-doors events.

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

Growers are waking up to the push towards cutting plastic use and are increasingly looking for substitutes and alternative methods.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
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


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy