Garden centres outperform wider retail sector hugely during recession

Garden centres have massively outperformed the wider retail sector in the recession as it emerged that 25,000 shops - or one in 10 - closed between January and September this year, compared to just seven garden retailers.

A Local Data Company (LDC) survey of 251,462 shops in the UK found 25,090 had closed.

But HW found just seven garden centres that had closed during the nine-month period.

The HTA and Garden Centre Association have found a 10 per cent rise in annual garden centre sales this year. Dobbies chief executive James Barnes said last week that garden centres can be the "Barack Obamas of retail".

Garden retailers that closed or went into administration this year include five Hurrans garden centres, Treborth in Bangor and Blackdown in Somerset. Three of the Hurrans stores and Blackdown have since re-opened following buyouts.

Quinton Edwards director Simon Quinton Smith said the centres that had closed had not been the victims of recession, adding: "Those that have closed have done so because they were over-geared and not because of bad business. Many have since been bought out."

Gilbert Evans partner Mike Gilbert said: "Garden centres by and large have done very well compared to the high street. I think a lot of it is to do demographics and a lot is to do with the weather.

"It provides an attractive form of retailing and is something that people like."

LDC found that 11 per cent, or 233, florists had been forced to close this year.


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