Garden centres outperform high street with rise in sales

Garden centre sales in August mirrored the state of the garden retail market this year to date by being almost flat, though they out-performed the riot-hit high street, which had its worst month for two years.

More garden centres were up than down, marginally, with overall sales up 0.82 per cent up according to the Garden Centre Association's (GCA) first 26 submissions.

GCA chief executive Gillie Westwood said: "Being flat is to be expected. It is good to be in this position and better than being negative. Garden centres avoided what hit the high street. They get enough burglary, because of their location, but were not on rioters' routes."

Bulbs did best, up 16 per cent. Alton Garden Centre director Andy Bunker said: "Trade is fairly level with hopefully a little more autumn sales to come."

BDO High Street Sales Tracker figures for August 2011 revealed the worst month for like-for-like sales on the high street in two years after analysing non-grocery retailers with annual sales of £5m-£500m. Mid-market retailers reported an overall year-on-year sales drop of 2.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, the International Garden Centre Association meets in Bozen, Italy, this week.


Category August 2011 Year to date

Houseplants 8.86% (down) 4.48% (down)
Outdoor plants 1.25% (down) 0.58% (up)
Seeds and bulbs 16.68% (up) 0.47% (down)
Garden sundries 0.52% (up) 0.54% (down)
Furniture and barbecues 8.05% (up) 3.07% (down)
Pets and aquatics 14.85% (down) 10.37% (down)
Gifts 7.31% (down) 1.16% (down)
Hard landscaping 2.38% (up) 4.26% (down)
Food hall/farm shop 2.66% (down) 3.6% (up)
Clothing 0.49% (down) 3.56% (down)
Catering 5.96% (up) 5.87% (up)
Overall 0.82% (up)

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