Garden centre customer trends survey released

Most people use friends and relatives for advice on gardening, a survey by Hangar Seven on garden centre trends has found.

The consumer survey which looked at the purchasing habits and marketing influences in the garden-retailing sector was carried out by Hangar Seven, a creative production agency specialising in garden centre marketing, brochure production and photography.

Hangar Seven, whose clients include B&Q, Sainsbury’s and Fired Earth, surveyed around 200 gardeners from a variety of socio-demographic classifications and age groups.

Though the majority (44 per cent) still turn to friends and relatives for advice, some 38 per cent of those surveyed said that the internet is their first reference point for advice on gardening, versus nine per cent who use magazines.

Out of those surveyed 85 per cent said they expect to find a brochure in-store and 95 per cent find them a useful source of information. Half of respondents said they use brochures for range and price research, and 41 per cent for inspiration or advice.

Gardeners were also quizzed on their spending plans for the year ahead with 80 per cent revealing they intended on spending an average of £540 on planting and maintenance. Some 33 per cent said they planned on completing larger projects and would spend an average of £1,050.

Following the current trend towards ‘The Good Life’, top items that people wanted for their gardens in 2011 included a vegetable plot, greenhouse and shed. A perfect lawn, conservatory, hot tub and garden furniture also featured in the list of desirable purchases. The number one item people want in 2011 is a water feature.

Hangar Seven’s Michael Keating, who commissioned the research, said: "The results of this survey provide a clear indication that gardeners are still keen to use printed brochures as their main source of information, browsing products as well as for inspiration.

"And while the internet and digital communications undoubtedly play an increasingly important role for recommendation, gardeners still turn to friends and family for advice."

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