Valentine's Day fails to ignite sales

Competition from supermarkets and petrol stations brings about disappointing plant sales

Valentine’s Day still lags far behind Mothers’ Day in UK garden centres, despite the occasion being worth nearly £2.4 billion to the retail sector in general. Around £151 million is spent on flowers, according to the British Retail Consortium. Most garden centres surveyed by HW reported either disappointing plant sales or small increases compared with last year. This was partly due to competition from supermarkets and petrol stations selling cut flowers and plants. “We anticipate that on Mothers’ Day we will sell four times as many plants as on Valentine’s Day. “We don’t do cut flowers but we create a small display area with chocolates, cards and gifts,” said Squires Garden Centres human resources and marketing director Sarah Squire. But Sanders GardenWorld in Somerset has found that free gift wrapping and well-displayed, competitively priced bouquets can help shift stock. “By 3pm, all our traditional roses had gone,” said assistant manager Dolly Elmahdi.

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