Garden centres see sales uplift in second week of October as Christmas buying starts early.

Sales at garden centres were up 20 per cent for the second week in October compared to the same period in 2011.

Strong pansy sales - Image: Pansy Muskateers from Sutton Seeds
Strong pansy sales - Image: Pansy Muskateers from Sutton Seeds

Garden centre sales figures show aquatics were up two per cent, books three per cent, clothing nine per cent, craft down nine per cent, food up 10 per cent, sundries down 20 per cent, houseplants up 10 per cent, outdoor plants down 15 per cent, pets up four per cent and catering up five per cent.

Plants sales were slower than in 2011, with cyclamen down, although 20 packs of pansies and violas were up.

Bulb sales were improved on last year, particularly hyacinth and Narcissi tete a tete.

Garden Centre Association chairman Peter Burks said: "Generally speaking, trade has been not too bad over the last few weeks. Christmas has started quite well – a bit earlier than last year. It’s the one thing people do every year and with the weather being relatively poor people feel the season is further on than it is.

The bulb season was late but has lurched into life now and that has brought a few more pansy sales but generally speaking autumn plant sales are not quite as good as last year.

Garden Centre Group regional manager Burks said promotions had been successful this year with Tuesday double garden club points for over 60s becoming more important.

He said September vouchers redemption was high, showing people wanted to go to garden centres but were not keen to spend a lot of money.


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