The August Bank holiday weekend gave sales at garden centres across the country a welcome boost at the end of the month, according to new figures from the GCA, with houseplants up in double figures.
The Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade report for August revealed that sales of houseplant jumped 20.69% compared with the same month last year, whilst outdoor plant sales were up 6.09%.
St Peter’s Garden Centre director Will Blake commented: “August has been an excellent month for us! The weather was perfect really, warm, but not too hot, and occasional showers to help with watering.
“Horticultural categories really benefitted from these conditions, with plant sales, sundries, and other related departments all seeing strong growth. In addition, the pleasant weather drove great numbers on furniture and barbecues.
“Houseplants continue to be extremely popular, which is lovely to see. We refitted our houseplant department in June and this seems to have encouraged even more shoppers.”
The popularity of houseplants is showing no signs of abating. Speaking to DIY Week at this year’s Glee, Scheurich sales director Peter Taylor said the category, “is still seeing huge growth”. He added: “Most retailers we’ve spoken to here say they are about 35% up on houseplants but we are up even more on indoor pots, so that’s great!”
GCA chief executive Iain Wylie said of the latest trade report: “After experiencing soaring temperatures in July, we were hopeful that it would continue into August. However, at the beginning of the month, we were faced with much wetter weather and even risks of flooding in some parts of the country.
“We had everything crossed for a glorious Bank holiday weekend and the great British weather didn’t let us down this time as it turned out to be one of the hottest on record. This caused an uplift in sales in more traditional categories and people also enjoyed time in their gardens as furniture and barbecue sales were up 17.82%.”
The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement. They are made available mid-month following the end of the prior month after all member garden centres have submitted their results.
Other growth areas identified in the latest report included hard landscaping, which saw sales rise 11.91% and garden sundries, which were up 14.15%.
Non-core gardening categories also benefitted from the good weather, with pets and aquatics sales up 5.78%, whilst and clothing sales grew 6.62%, and gift sales reported a 3.88% uplift.
With greater footfall through the door, food hall and farm shops saw sales climb 6.28%, and catering was also up 7.04%.
The only category that saw a decline, according to the trade barometer was seeds and bulbs, which saw sales fall 5.98%.
Overall sales for the month were up 8.89% with a year to date change of 7.01%.