Garden centre sales in week to February 2nd down on same time last year

Garden centre sales fell for the week to February 2 compared to the same week in 2013, according to figures supplied to Horticulture Week.

The aquatics category was down 20 per cent, books was down 24 per cent, clothing was down 30 per cent, craft was down 26 per cent, food was down 18 per cent, sundries was down 40 per cent, gifts were down 16 per cent, houseplants were down 20 per cent, outdoor plants were down 50 per cent, pets were down 30 per cent and catering was down 23 per cent.

Overall sales were down 30 per cent.

However, like-for-like retail sales have increased by eight per cent in January according to BDO High Street sales tracker. Non-store gained most at 27.2 per cent, with non-fashion at 10.7 per cent and homewares at 5.2 per cent.

But surveyors warned thast the figures were against very low returns from January 2013.

Meanwhile, the UK has been shown to be an important exporter for products bought by the internet.

British Retail Consortium director general Helen Dickinson said: "The UK is the world’s second biggest online retail exporter, beaten only by the USA. These new BRC-Google figures show UK retailers are investing heavily in international online experiences, localised websites and faster delivery times to drive exports.
"We have taken a close look this quarter at four key export markets. We’ve seen huge increases in searches from all of the most important. There was a massive 231 per cent rise in German smartphone searches for UK brands and a 78 per cent surge in French tablet searches for UK retailers.

"These positive results were supported by big increases from the other key markets, the Netherlands and the United States. We also saw large increases in searches for department stores, 78 per cent up on smartphones and 46 per cent up on tablets, demonstrating the strength of these UK retailers.
"There were also very positive results from the Russian Federation and Argentina. We will be working hard to make sure that these good trends are not undermined by proposals in these countries for import taxes targeted against cross-border internet sales."

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