January garden centre sales beat high street growth

Garden centre sales were up 20 per cent in January according to Garden Centre Association figures and widespread predictions of doom and gloom on the high street have yet to materialise.

Year-on-year sales for garden centres in January were up 9.1 per cent according to BDO LLP.
Milder weather and continued discounting gave a welcome boost to mid-market retailers and helped ensure a particularly strong first half of January, said BDO. While the year-on-year figures were boosted by comparisons with weeks affected by heavy snowfall in the early days of 2010, there was growth across the board.
Fashion sales increased by 10% on sales in January 2010 while non-fashion rose by 6.8%.

At 10.5 per cent, homewares sales were also strong, with shoppers flocking to take advantage of ‘VAT busting’ offers that held VAT at 17.5 per cent past the 4 January rise to 20 per cent.
Online purchases were up by an 49 per cent - growth rates not seen in nearly a year, with clothing sales particularly positive.

Retailers are reaping the rewards from consumers’ love affair with internet shopping, with approximately £1 in every £5 forked out by consumers now spent online.

See Horticulture Week 12 February for more.

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