Garden furniture in short supply following strong sales

Garden centres are running short of some garden furniture lines after an early start to the season took the industry by surprise.

Kettler casual dining
Kettler casual dining
GCA figures show garden furniture and barbecue sales are around 50 per cent up this year, back up to the levels of 2003 because of the better economy, and good weather in late summer 2013 and spring 2014.

Haskins chief executive Julian Winfield said garden furniture sales at Haskins were 43 per cent up since 1 March, 25 per cent higher than budgeted for but "furniture sales have also been poor during the last week, with availability hitting sales".

Winfield said after declining sales in the sector in the last decade last summer saw a pick up.  He said Haskins had worked with its suppliers to reserve stock and had maintained supply but the best sellers had run short.

He said over a number of years garden centres had under-ordered and were also now shorter of storage as packaging for furniture is now much bulkier.

Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association chairman Paul Bevington said: "There is a shortage of garden furniture in the market after an excellent early season that went beyond most people’s expectations, coupled with the fact a lot of garden furniture now comes from China and the Far East and you can’t turn on the tap unfortunately.  Retailers and suppliers have to work closer, particularly with garden centres, much more as a partnership to be ready for early season, but neither wants to be caught with lots of stock."

The Kettler GB managing director said stocks of Kettler’s casual dining ranges had run out but more was arriving in June: "We feel it’s worth the risk because we’re still not into the peak buying period."

Winfield added that bedding was 24 per cent down last week against the same week in 2013 because forecast frost had put off buyers.

Meanwhile, lawn care moss killer product is in short supply. Fresh@Burcot owner Neil Gow said Scotts moss killer lawn product had been difficult to get after a raw material shortage.

Sinclair marketing director Simon McArdle said demand was high because of winter rains meaning lawns were damaged but a flood at raw material manufacturer PB Kent meant lost production and tighter stock.

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