Garden centres boost value retailer QD's Christmas sales

QD Stores
QD Stores

UK value retailer QD Commercial Group Holdings has posted increased like-for-like sales over the Christmas period for the fourth consecutive year.

The group, which operates 51 stores under the QD, Cherry Lane Garden Centre, Thingmebobs and Lathams brands, saw sales up by 5.41 per cent during the three weeks preceding Christmas compared with the same period in 2012.

QD sales by department for the period were up 24.5 per cent (Christmas), 21.7 per cent (grocery), 10.9 per cent (giftware), 18.9 per cent (plants, seeds etc).

Post-Christmas like-for-like sales are on January 7, 16.9 per cent up year-on-year, the company reports.

Managing director Justin Farrington Smith said: "In common with many other value retailers, our trading position over the festive season has been encouraging given the presently flat state of the retail sector." 

UK retail sales overall in December 2013 were up 1.5 per cent compared with a year earlier, while like-for-like sales rose 0.3 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium. Garden Centre Association figures show December was five per cent up among its members.

"While challenging conditions face our high street business, we saw a contrastingly strong performance from our leisure and destination sites," said Farrington smith.

Last August, QD reported a 4.0 per cent year-to-date, like-for-like sales increase with above-average summer trading driven by seasonally-adjusted promotions across its apparel, garden and leisure business.

Real Christmas trees and outdoor lit objects were up more than 30 per cent on last year.

QD has a new transactional online facility spanning all of its product lines planned to be operational by the end of March.

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