Garden centres' May success continues despite wedding interruption

The royal wedding and FA Cup final could have interrupted sales, but pent-up demand and fine weather outweighed the events to make it another strong sales weekend for garden centres, which are bouncing back after the cold early spring.

Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker said sales were "very good considering the wedding and the cup final. Although the cup final at 5.15pm kick off did not hurt us much and the wedding, while very well watched, gave a good opportunity for those who did not watch to shop in a more relaxed atmosphere.

"It started off manic on Saturday early morning. We had a huge amount of big value sales all day. My target was beaten by some 23%.

"Sunday was good but back to lots of footfall and average spend was far less. If we carry on as we are I will have made up around 40-45% of the deficit in the plant area lost from Jan to April."

The royal wedding was expected to cut footfall from midday.

Ansell Garden Centre, where Newspan are erecting steelwork for a new building, is another garden centre that has also been very busy over the weekend. Managing director Paresh Raithatha said there has been queues of customers at his west London garden centre going out of the car park.

Many garden centres including Wyevale, Dobbies and Squire's have broken records in recent weeks. 

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