Gardening equipment sales defy downturn but suppliers and garden retailers must continue to promote the sector

The gardening equipment market defied prevailing economic conditions to grow buy 2 per cent in 2011 and is now valued at £893 million, according to new data.

Gardening equipment sales grew 3.2% in 2011 - image: Hozelock
Gardening equipment sales grew 3.2% in 2011 - image: Hozelock

Hand tools and water management systems experienced the strongest growth hitting 3.2% during 2011, according to figures published by market research company Key Note.

The value of the gardening equipment market has been increasing each year for the last five years, with the pace of growth accelerating since the end of the recession in 2009, Key Note added.

Key Note said expects the market to be worth £1.04 billion in 2011 based on current market trends.

"The gardening equipment industry has traditionally fluctuated in accordance with the economy", Key Note said.

"However, with gardening increasingly being viewed by the UK population as a fun pastime that is good for both health and the environment, the industry has now been able to defy this parallel."

It added that the economic crisis, coupled with the fact that growing your own fruit and vegetables can save up to £200 a year, had resulted in more consumers turning to gardening as a "means of saving money".  

The research also concluded that the development of lightweight tools – as well as technological advances – had made gardening easier and less tedious.

It said the lithium-ion battery had given gardeners more flexibility by enabling tools to be cordless. Meanwhile, phone apps introduced by gardening equipment manufacturers and retailers had enabled them to stay in touch with their customers.

But the report also warned that the market should not ignore the impact of the wider economic downturn, citing the closure of the Focus DIY chain last year.

Key Note said the best strategy garden equipment manufacturers and retailers can adopt to help and ensure continued growth is to "support the British interest in gardening through campaigns that raise awareness and to get involved in communities through gardening initiatives, as well as DIY Kits that facilitate and promote the activity."

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