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Garden centres' November beats 2013

Published: 6 January 2015
Christmas and catering brought festive cheer to garden centres in November, with sales in those categories well up on those of November 2013.
Garden centres' November beats 2013
According to new figures from the Garden Centre Association (GCA) Christmas sales rose by 24% and catering sales by 10%, while sales of outdoor plants were up 11% and houseplants 12% up.

Said GCA chairman Will Armitage: "Garden centres have become real destinations to do your Christmas shopping in, and people often like to stop off at a café or restaurant for lunch or a spot of tea as they go."

Other good performers during the month included furniture and barbecues, up 6%, and gifts, up 7%.

James Ducker, director at GCA member Langlands Garden Centres, said: "Catering and Christmas were winners for Langlands in November. Catering was up 19% at our Leeds store and 5% up at our Shiptonthorpe store. Our farm shop in Leeds was 50% up.

"We also had an excellent month on Christmas, with Shiptonthorpe up 22% and Leeds 41%."

Whitehall Garden Centres, which has stores in Bristol and Lacock, has seen its Christmas sales grow due to building a 'Christmas experience' and a leisure day out.

Managing director Peter Self said: "The areas we've focused on are more investment in stock, especially electrical and artificial trees, decorations and novelties."

The ice rink at Lacock was enlarged to accommodate 125 skaters per session and Mr Self was expecting more than 25,000 skaters. Over 40,000 visitors were also expected to the Santa's grottos.

Squires Garden Centres also enjoyed improved Christmas sales. Managing director Dennis Espley said: "We have really focused our efforts on driving Christmas sales, with our improved displays, revised ranges and more stock of promotional lines. The result at the end of November in this category was 25% up on the previous year."

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