Winter products make up new category as weather triggers sales increases

Sledges, snow shovels and salt have become a category in their own right after the second snowy winter in a row, say suppliers and garden centre owners.

Green-Tech sales director Mark Whiting said: "From October to December we were 32 per cent up on the same quarter in 2009. We were affected by the snow but where we were not selling plant products we were selling grit bins, salt and de-icer. Postponed planting jobs are coming back now."

Kelkay director Richard Pyrah said: "Winter products have become a whole new category after three hard winters in a row. In 2010-11 we saw a tenfold increase in grit sales on the previous winter and snow shovel and sledge sales were phenomenal."

Klondyke garden centres sundries, furniture and pets buyer Alan Wilson said the 25-centre group will stock winter products all year round for "distress purchases".

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