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Sunshine brings out the garden centre shoppers in May

Published: 19 June 2012
Outdoor furniture and barbecues were top sellers for members of the Garden Centre Association during the sunnier days of May, according to the latest Barometer of Trade results.
Sunshine brings out the garden centre shoppers in May
The results revealed a 9.5% increase in furniture and BBQs compared with May 2011. This was largely put down to the upturn in the weather.

GCA chief executive Phil Slinger said: "As soon as the sun started shining outdoor furniture and barbecues were flying out the door, demonstrating that there is a demand once the sun makes an appearance.

"After a disappointing April, May was a much better month and many members will be breathing a small sigh of relief. The focus on selling during the sunny spells was evident and many members saw a double digit increase in sales in their outdoor categories."

April saw poor sales for seeds and bulbs, however in May sales were up 6.01%. Gifts were also up 2.22% and clothing 5.34%. However, the weather affected overall performance and members saw an average decrease of 4.52% year on year.

The BoT reports produced by the GCA allow member garden centres to compare their trading positions with other GCA garden centres.

Mr Slinger continued: "We are all hoping that the sunny days outnumber the rainy ones during June and July to help boost sales.

"There is a definite link between the weather and sales, as demonstrated by our regional figures. Our members in Scotland had more days of sunshine than torrential rain in May and their overall sales were up 5.4%, whereas those in North Thames, which saw more rain, were down 19.6%.

"There is hope that trade through the month will keep ahead of 2011, with the season extending later into June due to the rainy weather during the past two months. This should have a positive impact on the overall year to date sales figures."

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.


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