Garden retail: 2012 review

Highlights of 2012 in the garden centre industry.


January

Christmas sales were up 12.5 per cent in December 2011 on December 2010.

Play areas at Garden Centre Group boosted footfall.

Peter Burks replaced Dennis Espley as GCA chairman.

Early plant sales up 48 per cent on 2011 boosted growers' hopes

Trade bodies sought better statistics on garden centre sector sales with seed firms looking to share data.

B&Q cut brands for their own labels.

Garden Centre Group targeted click and collect plug business after VAT relief on Channel Islands imports ended.

January retail sales ended nine per cent down.

February

Terra Firma bought Garden Centre Group for £276m.

Dr Hessayon hit out at EU plant controls bureaucracy.

Supermarkets and garden centres looked to link developments at Garden & Leisure and others.

Jamie Oliver moves on his school gardening campaign.

Disease hit impatiens were dismissed by big sellers including T&M.

Garden Re-Leaf prepared to kick start 2012.

Sarah Mills took over at Landgard.

Homegrown labels see success.

EU banned salad seed mixes.

Garden centres pushed their community roles.

The industry braced itself for drought restrictions.

Christine Walkden told an STC event that peat replacement was confusing gardeners.

Glee announced it would fill two halls, down one.

GCA planned e-learning.

March

Ian Riggs takes over at BPOA.

Garden Organic Food Growing in Schools report boosts school gardening.

Drip irrigation and water butts to the fore as hosepipe bans kicked in, with the sector fighting for concessions.

February sales were down 9.5 per cent, says GCA.

Dobbies opened in Gillingham.

B&Q criticised for putting topsoil in peat, a move they later reverse.

Olympic trial lifted Sunday trading hopes, forlornly.

Nicholas Marshall again topped the Garden Retail Power 100.

April

Heavy rain damages Easter sales by a third, with hosepipe bans bringing a double whammy.

The Growing Media Initiative hits a block after NGOs and peat experts row.

Dobbies cuts jobs after a review.

March sales were up eight per cent on 2011, finds GCA.

Blue Diamond buy Grosvenor Garden Centre.

Westland buys Cranswick.

Garden Store takes over Burford House Tenbury.

Chelsea BBC coverage drops Joe Swift, who is designing for Homebase at the show.

International garden market sales up to $941bn says Euromonitor.

March sales were up 11.5 per cent, says GCA.

May

Wildflower meadows fashionable as Olympic planting plans are revealed.

April sales were down 36 per cent, says GCA with year to date sales down 14 per cent.

Westland, Homebase win gold at Chelsea, where warmer weather gives a brief sales burst.

June

Jubilee bank holiday doesn’t help sales.

Morrisons install garden sections in carparks.

HTA plan NGGV changes to take more margin.

Ash dieback first reported in Britain.

Cherry Lane expands garden centre division.

May sales down three per cent and year down 9.4 per cent, says GCA.

Hosepipe bans lifted after wettest season for a century.

Growing Media Initiative gets back on track.

Retailers slash plant prices to clear stocks.

July

David Clark is awarded VMH.

June sales bounce back 17 per cent, says GCA.

Alan Knight builds costs into peat-use reduction.

Julian Graves closes, leaving 13 concessions in garden centres empty.

Flying Brands sells Gardening Direct to Jersey Choice Marketing as VAT loophole fallout continues.

Peat harvests are poor as rain continues.

Garden centres start to hope for autumn sales revival.

August

Retailers ramp up discounts.

HTA launch Plan It Plant it autumn sales push.

Growing Media task Force cross-group agreement announced.

September

B&Q cuts head office staff after profit fall.

Glee attracts 536 companies and 9,112 visitors.

Big Glee launches include Scotts Flower Magic.

October

Poor peat harvest prompts 2013 fears.

Nicholas Marshall leaves Garden Centre Group, along with Lorrie Robertson and Antonia Jenkinson.

GCG plans 200-centre estate.

Neil Fishlock leaves Dobbies.

B&Q plan Prince Harry garden for Chelsea 2013.

November

Notcutts reveals expansion plan and Christmas pop-ups.

Garden Retail awards see Sidmouth, Scotsdales and Bents among the winners.

Catering keeps garden centres ticking over during quiet autumn.

December

Sales pick up as Christmas approaches, but are 8.5 per cent down for the year to date, says GCA

Kevin Bradshaw takes over at the Garden Centre Group.


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