Dismal weather is a blow to sales

The industry is experiencing a poor start to the year because of the continued bad weather, a grower says.

More hosepipe bans are just one of the industry’s weather-related concerns, a grower believes. Managing director John Tugman of Roundstone Nurseries in West Sussex predicts that the industry faces an immediate sales problem, with poor weather discouraging people from getting into the garden: “There are bigger issues in terms of weather and the general sluggishness of the retail economy to be concerned about, rather than people not buying because of hosepipe bans. “At the moment, there is no great desire from the public to get into the garden because we are still getting frosts and snow. It’s cold, wet, windy and dull.” Tugman is concerned that the level of sales so far this year is “significantly below” the previous two years. “The past two years have seen good starts to the year in terms of weather and consumer demand, followed by poor weather in the main season, which has dampened things down. “I’m hoping the poor start to the season will improve, but if the weather does pick up, then hosepipe bans and water shortages will become an issue.”

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