Overall September sales were up 9.3 per cent according to figures from 60 of the association's member centres. But year to date returns are 4.3 per cent down and Christmas year to date is two per cent down on 2011 so far.
GCA interim chief executive Iain Wylie said: "With the washout summer most of us had weather-wise and only a slight improvement going into autumn, there are some signs people have started to plan their Christmases earlier than they have in previous years. After all, we all need something to look forward to."
Gardens Group managing director Michael Burks said: "We’ve seen good sales since launching Christmas. I believe this is partly because the autumn weather hasn’t been brilliant so far therefore people are feeling justified about spending money on Christmas products. We had a good month for gardening items during September too."
Highlights for September include:
- Pets and aquatics up 19.46 per cent
- Catering up 15.05 per cent
- Hard landscaping up 13.32 per cent
- Furniture and barbecues up 9.9 per cent
- Christmas up 17.4 per cent
- Seeds and bulbs down 8.44 per cent
Sector September Year to Date
Houseplants 8.6 -3
Outdoor plants 3.6 -13
Seeds and bulbs -8.5 -8.7
Sundries 9.2 -7.5
Furniture and bbqs 10 -10.5
Pets and aquatics 19.5 1.2
Gifts 8.2 3.8
Hard landscaping 13 -7
Food 12 0.3
Clothing 8.8 6.2
Catering 15 8.1
Overall 9.3 -4.3