Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Growers paint rosy picture of plant sales

Published: 30 March 2007
Sales in January and February up nearly 50 per cent
The HTA's informal sounding of growers who supply garden retailers has produced a generally positive picture for the first three months of 2007.

For most businesses, sales in January and February were up between 10% and 49% on the same time last year and growers appear to have continued to see sales growth in March. This is in stark contrast to March 2006 when many struggled to recover even when the season extended into the autumn.

Several growers have reported that many March lines sold out before the middle of the month and some are predicting that the high early demand for plants in the UK and across Europe could result in plant shortages in mid-April.

The picture is not entirely positive, however, with a few growers reporting problems with the weather and more particularly weather forecasts, causing some buyers to be over cautious.

Tim Briercliffe, HTA business development director, said: "This has a detrimental effect on both growers and garden retailers when customers make a decision on whether to visit the garden centre and purchase on the basis of an inaccurate forecast.

"Looking at the long range weather forecast, I believe growers can be cautiously optimistic for the Easter period." He added that the BBC’s prediction of high pressure remaining dominant for Easter should ensure it will be a 'cracker’.

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