GCA trade data shows strong Christmas sales

The Garden Centre Association's (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) results for November have revealed that strong Christmas sales have continued.

The results, which are compiled using actual sales figures to provide an up-to-date trading position statement, showed Christmas product sales were up 10.65 per cent compared to November 2011.

GCA chairman Peter Burks said: "Christmas sales have been strong from September until now and we believe December will be a good month for the industry too.

"With Christmas sales starting earlier than usual this year there was the possibility that trade might have dropped off by now but sales are still going strong.

"Many of our members are running catering promotions in the run up to the festivities, for example offering meals with Santa or special festive menus, and according to the BoT figures these are proving to be a hit, with catering standing at 10.04 per cent up for the month."

Christmas sales are up 10.46 per cent for the year to date, while catering is 8.05 per cent up.

November was also a good month for pets and aquatics, which was up 9.38 per cent, while the food hall/farm shop category was up 9.91 per cent.

All-In-One Garden Centre in Middleton, Manchester recently won the GCA Christmas Display competition in the Garden Centre category and has seen good Christmas sales this season.

Jason Stafford, financial director of All-In-One Garden Centre, said: "We spend a great deal of time and effort making sure our Christmas displays are as good as they can possibly be. The staff have one mantra – make it beautiful, make it inspirational and make it sell. It is through their efforts we have achieved this award.

"We were thoroughly delighted to win the GCA’s Christmas display award and our figures show that the public are in agreement with the GCA’s judging as our sales continue to be strong in this area."

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