Reasonable Bank Holiday for garden centres

Garden centres had a positive bank Holiday weekend, helped by the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, pent-up demand and reasonable weather.

Chester-based Grosvenor Garden Centre MD Iain Wylie said: "We had a buoyant Bank Holiday weekend which culminated with our best ever Bank Holiday Monday. We had strong sales right across the board but highlights were furniture and barbecues and plants. For the first time this year sales of both bedding and hardy nursery stock were both very strong. The weather was kind to us overall despite a slight wobble on Saturday encouraging our customers out into their gardens. I hope this signifies a few good weeks to come, particularly for bedding."

South Coast-based Haskins buying director Philip Haskins said: "The sales build up during the bank holiday week was strong at Haskins in comparison to the previous year. Customers were buying heavily in Garden and bedding Plants and those garden sundry products which support plants, such as composts, chemicals and plant climbers. 

Haskins added: "The Chelsea Flower show media coverage was strong, this helped to attract customers in to our centres, climbing clematis and roses (sales increase of 20 per cent) appear to have been the most popular this year. The favourable weather helped to stimulate sales of BBQs, accessories and outdoor weave furniture as customers prepared for the summer season, and to entertain and enjoy their garden over this May Bank Holiday."  

Bristol-based Cleeve Nursery owner Alan Down said: "Trade at Cleeve was mixed largely due to grey drizzly weather on Saturday. However, Bank Holiday Monday, always the busiest day, was above expectations with bedding, container and hanging basket plants featuring very strongly. Perennials, especially if with coloured foliage and/or flower, continued to outsell all other hardy plants.

"There was a noticeable drop in demand for vegetable and fruit plants as most plots are probably now full. May ended well with income for the month above norm. There is some concern that good quality bedding supplies are beginning to run short."

Garden Centre Association chief executive Gillie Westwood said: On the whole it was a good weekend and May in general was good too; everyone seems to be optimistic.
North East: Bank holiday was mixed with bad weather on Saturday but the rest of the weekend was great especially Monday. On the whole May has performed well compared to last year which was particularly bad; however compared to previous Mays this year was average. Despite the slow start in the NE following atrocious weather there is optimism for the rest of the season which will be helped by half term being in June.
North West: The bank holiday was mixed for us, the Saturday was poor weather here and resulted in yes poor sales, Sunday was better with strong trading especially on plants. BHM was even stronger with more and more interest in outdoor leisure products. May in general was strong in comparison to last year atrocious month, but in the reflection of other years it was just below an average May. The only significant trading difference has been that midweek sales have been improving in there ratio to weekends.
Pleased to report an excellent weekend. Monday was a record breaker, exceeding our budgets. Sales were across the board but plants, furniture and barbecues were particularly popular. The bedding season seems to have finally started in earnest.
Poor weather Saturday so sales a bit weaker than last Bank Holiday but Sunday and Monday very good - particularly Monday with excellent weather. We are delighted with 2010 to date, sales very strong every month well up even in comparison to previous years as well.
Northern Ireland: We had a good May and well up on last year's bad one but only slightly up on 2008.  We were lucky with both bank holidays weather wise and did well. Bedding plants, perennials and garden furniture are the successes so far.
South Thames: We had an average Bank Holiday but we did have a record May preceded by a record April. Outdoor plants, garden shop and coffee shop all set new records in May, so we are well pleased.

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