Year-to-date sales in garden centres are now 10 per cent ahead of 2008.
Garden Centre Association (GCA) chief executive Gillie Westwood said: "Despite the poor weather, everyone from this snapshot of 21 centres is nearly five per cent up on the month on average. It is heartening to see a lot of categories up."
She said the weather accounted for flat plant sales, while weddings could be behind the surge in gift purchases. Clothing figures have been calculated in a different way this year, accounting for the high increase, but Westwood said garden centres had increased their ranges and concessions in this area.
July 2009 Year to date
Houseplants down 6 per cent down 4 per cent
Outdoor plants down 1 per cent up 12 per cent
Furniture and barbecues up 7 per cent up 3 per cent
Gifts up 23 per cent up 10 per cent
Hard landscaping up 0.5 per cent down 2 per cent
Food/farmshops up 22 per cent up 13 per cent
Clothing up 77 per cent up 20 per cent
Catering up 16 per cent up 14 per cent
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