October Christmas sales up on last year association figures show, as rain hits plant sales hard in week to November 25th

The Garden Centre Association's Barometer of Trade shows Christmas product sales were up 15.3 per cent in October 2012 against sales in October 2011.

Association chairman Peter Burks said of the results: "It is encouraging to see that Christmas sales at our member garden centres are still going strong.

"The year to date figures now stand at six per cent up, which is a great result and we expect this to continue to rise as more people begin their preparations.

"Other areas of our members businesses that also did well were clothing up 10.67 per cent, food hall and farm shop sales up 6.67 per cent and catering up 6.76 per cent as compared to October 2011."

Meanwhile data gathered by Horticulture Week for the week ending November 25th shows the impact of the wet weather on outdoor plant sales in particular. Overall garden centre sales for the week were mixed.

Aquatics for the week were 20 per cent up, books were nine per cent down, Christmas was 10 per cent down, clothing was five per cent down, craft was 10 per cent down, food was one per cent down, sundries were 20 per cent down, gifts were nine per cent down, houseplants were flat, outdoor plants were 40 per cent down, pets were five per cent up and catering was six per cent up.

October 2012 sales v October 2011

                                    October  2012    Year to date (per cent)

Houseplants                +7                      -0.7

Outdoor plants             -16                    -12.5

Seeds and bulbs          -13                    -9

Sundries                       -15                   -6

Furniture and bbqs       -21                   -11

Pets and aquatics         +0.6                 -1.7

Gifts                              +3.3                 +4.8

Christmas                     +15                   +5

Hard landscaping         -29                    -8.4

Food                             +6.6                  +0.55

Clothing                        +10.6                +7.5

Catering                        +6.7                  +10.2

Overall                          +0.04                -2.8

Source: Garden Centre Association

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