Garden centres see strong December Christmas sales uplift

Garden centres are clawing back losses with improved seasonal sales this month.

Hillview Group chief executive Boyd Douglas-Davies said: "Our Hilltop Garden Centre in Oxfordshire is over 35 per cent up in December and our Studley Garden Centre in Warwickshire is up 22 per cent. At both centres we have increased the size of the Christmas departments and the range of gift products."

Also seeing an uplift this month is Klondyke Garden Centres where chief executive officer Bo Hewitt said sales had increased by four per cent last week over the previous year. Restaurant sales were up 10 per cent."

Elsewhere Stewarts Gardenlands owner Martin Stewart said sales during the past eight weeks had "saved the year" illustrating how important building up Christmas, catering and gift sales had been.

Raglan Garden Centre owner Martin Davies said: "Sales of decorations are up 15 per cent, lights and artificial trees up three per cent and live trees also up three per cent. Houseplants are a real winner for us at this time of year as we give them a better position and as a result sales are up 46 per cent. Our breakfast with Santa events sold out early this year."

HTA marketing director Andrew Maxted commented: "Despite challenging times it seems that consumers are still willing to enjoy the Christmas period and this is mirrored by the recent sales figures that we see in UK garden centres. It has been a tough year for the industry and so this busy festive period provides some welcome relief."

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