Most garden centres saw sales slip in 2022-23 as the post-Covid bubble burst. Retailers expected the boom in gardening and outdoor living sales to end as people returned to office work, had other leisure options reopened and had enough new furniture, pots and tools to last a few years.
Catering sales returned to normal and there was some uplift from new gardeners. Overall, sales were on average about 5% down. Many centres returned to what they were before the peak year of 2021-22, though some were up in a resettling year for the sector.
“Not as bad as I thought it would have been,” was the view of future Garden Centre Association chair Will Blake, who is managing director at St Peters Garden Centre in Worcester.
Stewarts Garden Centre owner Martin Stewart says 2022 was down 5.7%, adding: “A frustrating year for obvious reasons, especially given the significant investment we had made in other parts of the business.”
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