Garden centres up four per cent in July, says HTA

The HTA's latest Garden Retail Monitor suggests that garden centre sales were up four per cent on July last year and six per cent for the year ending at the end of July.

Figures for April showed a 23 per cent growth in sales in garden centres, but May was down four per cent and June, nine per cent.

Latest Garden Centre Association figures for the year to the end of August show garden centre sales flat for the year.

Stuart Gooden from Planters Garden Centre said: "We have had a good August which has helped us maintain our eight per cent year-on-year increase. Autumn bedding sales have been strong and we are putting a lot of focus on emphasising the autumn season before leaping straight into Christmas displays."

G-Scapes of Lichfield, a Staffordshire plant centre, says plant sales are responsible a 10 per cent rise in turnover for August.

Ian Forsyth of Seven Oaks Garden Centre in Clwyd reported strong plant sales in August with many customers asking or bulbs before they were in stock.

Garry Winwood from Stone Cross Nurseries in East Sussex said August sales of shrub and plant centre lines have been steady, despite the poor summer. Autumn bedding sales have also started early, while sales of wallflowers have been buoyant and bulbs have also been selling well.

Mark Gilbert from Paradise Park Garden Centre, also in East Sussex, said: "Our Autumn sales have been steady and Christmas trade will soon kick in. With ever increasing competition, garden retailers have to become even more focussed on customer service and ensure they go the extra mile to provide consumers with a great shopping experience."

Van Hage operations manager Graham Robinson said: "Autumn has started early with a full range of pansy and viola, garden chrysanthemums and traditional evergreens all featuring strongly by the August Bank Holiday weekend. Bulbs are also selling extremely well."


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