Plants and barbecues led the field in garden centre trading, final figures for April confirm

The Garden Centre Association's (GCA) final Barometer of Trade (BoT) results for April trading, revealed sales were 16 per cent up, with returns 18 per cent up year to date - and with outdoor plant sales up 24.23 per cent compared to April, 2013.

GCA chairman Will Armitage said: "April was a particularly good month for our member garden centres, with the majority of areas performing well.

"The late Easter and fine weather towards the end of the month certainly saw more people headed for their gardens and helped to boost sales.

"Other good performers during the month were furniture and barbecue sales 51.50 per cent up, hard landscaping 21.87 per cent up, garden sundries 16.64 per cent up and food hall/farm shop 13.58 per cent up."

Gardenwise managing director Alistair Bertram said: "April was tremendous for us, it all came together with advertising, Easter and the weather just right. After such a wet winter customers were able to get into their gardens and do somethng.

"It is an accumulation of other factors all coming together too, like customers realising we had extended the garden centre and the fact we won the accolade of ‘Best Garden Centre in Scotland’ last year, which was judged by the GCA inspectors. We were also fully stocked with quality plants and sundries.

"However, I think this season will finish early so all the large increases will reduce to more sensible increases by the time we get to July. All in all this year will still see the best garden centre sales we have seen for quite a few years."

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