Garden centre sales up seven per cent for February final figures show

Final February figures from the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report show sales during the month were up 7.1 per cent in comparison to February 2012, with indoor categories performing better than weather-dependent sections.

GCA chairman Peter Burks said: "January was a bit of a miserable month for garden centres so we are really pleased that despite the colder than average weather we had in February people were still spending at our member garden centres."

Gift sales were up 27.81 per cent, catering up 14.9 per cent, food hall and farm shop up 12.06 per cent, clothing up 10.34 per cent and houseplants up 2.03 per cent.

Outdoor plants sales were down 2.49 per cent and seeds and bulbs down 5.34 per cent."
Burks added: "In 2012 we saw a significant shift of sales away from more traditional categories into less weather-dependent categories and we think this trend will continue for as long as the climate remains unpredictable.

"Our members have adapted well to ensure that they are still making sales even when people aren’t tempted to be out planting."
Matthew Bent, MD of Bents Garden & Home in Glazebury, Warrington, said: "The weather is one of the biggest factors in our industry. With such poor conditions over the past few years we have really focused on strengthening others areas of the business, such as our Fresh Approach Restaurant and our events calendar to include even more family-focused events.

"We’ve also been strengthening departments including gifts, kitchenware and clothing, which are less weather dependent. February was a wash out in terms of the weather, but we performed well within the industry and I believe this to be down to the hard work that we have put in to developing other areas of the business."

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