Flat is the new normal, according to Euromonitor, after releasing its analysis of the worldwide garden retail market for 2013.
The research company said: "New home and garden data show that the industry delivered another year of flat growth in 2013. Nevertheless, the performance varied widely across different countries - from eight per cent growth in China to decline in most of western Europe. The USA, the largest market in the world, also posted marginal growth that helped boost overall global sales.
Improvements were not enough to move growth to pre-2008 levels. Only four countries recorded spending of more than US$2,000 per household in 2013 - Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia and Germany.
Overall sales in UK Garden Centre Association centres were up 3.3 per cent in 2013. But sales are up around 20 per cent so far in 2014, with April up 16 per cent.
Overall consumer spend in April was up 3.7 per cent, with particularly strong growth in online DIY (44 per cent) and online garden centres (40 per cent), Barclaycard has reported. Spending in garden centres grew 20.2 per cent.
"Britain's booming housing market, helped by the Government's Help to Buy scheme, has led to record levels of spending on DIY and in garden centres over the past two years," said Barclaycard.
Meanwhile, the latest footfall figures from Ipsos Retail Performance confirm the UK retail market benefitted from stronger demand in April. Its Ipsos Retail Traffic Index, derived from the number of shoppers entering more than 4,000 UK non-food stores, rose by 8.4 per cent in April on March and 1.8 per cent year-on-year on April 2013.
Sales April increase
The British Retail Consortium and KPMG have reported that the UK's retail sales for April 2014 increased by 4.2 per cent on a like-for-like basis from the same month last year, when they had decreased by 2.2 per cent on the preceding year.
On a total basis, sales were up by 5.7 per cent, against a 0.6 per cent fall in April 2013. Growth was positively distorted by the timing of the Easter holidays.