TV loss blamed for fall in sales

The disappearance of BBC series Ground Force from our TV screens has been blamed for the garden furniture market falling by 52 per cent in the past five years, an HTA report has suggested.

The Garden Industry Monitor Garden Furniture Market 2003-2008, released ahead of the Leisure & Outdoor Furniture Association's first Solex outdoor furniture trade show at Telford on 6-8 July, said garden centre merchandisers must improve displays for sales to increase.

It suggested furniture displays need to be as good as the Christmas ones that replace them to drive sales back up.

Spend on all types of garden furniture in the year ending February 2005 peaked at £637m, but fell to £305m by the end of February 2008 - a decline of 52 per cent.

The report also blamed England failing to qualify for the Euro 2008 football championship, along with poor spring weather in recent years, for the downturn.

It said unit sales are still high, but price-cutting promotions are driving down turnovers. The report also blames DIY superstores and supermarkets for cutting prices to increase volumes.

- 2004/2005 - £637m
- 2007/08 - £305m
- 52 per cent decline in past five years
- Over-55s renewing furniture
- 2010 World Cup
- 2012 Olympics

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