Salt, shovels and sledges top winter sellers at B&Q and Dobbies

Salt, shovels and sledges are flying out of garden centre doors as the cold snap continues.

Sales of rock salt soared 900% on the previous week at B&Q, which was a 75% increase on the peak week last year.

Meanwhile, B&Q sales of shovels were up 50% and sales of Wellington boots up 33% week-on-week.

Sales of sledges rose 1,000% at Dobbies Garden Centres at Christmas thanks to the snowfall.

The firm announced its strongest Christmas period ever, with online sales almost doubling, although full trading figures will not be released until the last week of January. Dobbies had two million customers this Christmas. Bestsellers at, where sales almost doubled on 2008, were real and artificial Christmas trees, children's board games and Christmas food hampers.

The Met Office winter forecast predicts: "For the rest of winter, over northern Europe including the UK, the chance of colder-than-average conditions is now 45%; there is a 30% chance of average and a 25% chance of milder-than-average conditions.

It added: "There is a 30% chance of a drier-than-average winter, a 35% chance of an average winter and a 35% chance of a wetter winter.


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