May saw a narrowing of gains achieved in the early part of the year after wetter weather hit sales, latest Garden Centre Association (GCA) figures have revealed. After April, GCA members were 18.88 per cent up on 2013.
Overall retail sales continued to grow steadily in the year to May, for the sixth consecutive month, although at a slower pace than in April, according to the latest CBI quarterly Distributive Trades Survey.
Some 38 per cent of retailers reported that sales volumes were up in May on a year ago, while 22 per cent said they were down, giving a balance of +16 per cent, but this was below expectations. Sales volumes grew in hardware & DIY (+33 per cent).
HTA director-general Carol Paris said: "Sales picked up this time last year, but the last two weeks have tailed off a bit, but most are looking healthy on the year."
Meanwhile, Datamonitor research shows 69 per cent of UK consumers consider it important to find bargains when grocery shopping, well above the global average of 58 per cent.