Furniture leads surge in sales

Outdoor products fuel sales boost but Wimbledon 'killed trade when Andy Murray was playing'.

Garden furniture and barbecues have led an 18 per cent late-season surge in garden centres this June, although high temperatures caused a drop-off in sales in early July.

Garden Centre Association interim chief executive Iain Wylie said: "June made a huge difference and cleared lots of outdoor furniture and barbecue stock in perfect time for Solex.

"But Wimbledon has been a bit like last year's jubilee and killed trade when Andy Murray was playing, though it's a lot better after the misery of last year."

The further north centres are the better the increase has been, compared to the same month in 2012.

Wylie said gardeners are enjoying the garden rather than gardening. British Protected Ornamentals Association chairman Ian Riggs added: "When the temperature is over 25 degs, people don't buy many plants. They're not doing the garden, they're using the garden."

Squire's chairman Colin Squire said: "June was very good. The late season has cheered us all a bit."

RHS Wisley Plant Centre head Nigel Eaton added: "Trading has been good in June across all four sites, driven by plant sales, Perfect for Pollinators and Awards of Garden Merit. If the weather continues, we'll be above last year."

In June, Alton Garden Centre was 24 per cent up, Coolings almost 30 per cent up and Hillview Group's Studley more than 30 per cent up.

Wylie added that with Garden Centre Group buying centres he "wouldn't be surprised to see a few changing hands in the next 12 months".

New products launched at Solex in Birmingham (8-10 July) included Kettler's Siena sun lounger and Materia two-seat glider and a corner bench set, Cadac's latest Carrichef portable gas barbecue and Landmann's Pro-Compact range of gas barbecues and Tennessee Gas Smoker. Weber introduced a Four Seasons barbecue marketing campaign.

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