Gardening mania is good news for garden centres

Gardening mania is good news for garden centres

Garden centres are among sectors that are riding out the economic downturn, thanks to millions of us turning to gardening as a pandemic pastime

Garden centres are thriving at the moment

Garden centres are doing well financially, post easing of the lockdown, says the Horticultural Trades Association. 

Garden centre sales throughout June indicate a strong recovery, with figures up 34 per cent on June 2019, according to the latest HTA Market Update report.  
 
Recovery has been largely driven by exceptional gardening category sales as consumers spend more time in their gardens, with growth in sales of garden plants, seeds, and gardening equipment, as well as garden leisure categories.  Sales of outdoor containers were up 129 per cent on June 2019, garden furniture up 101 per cent, seeds up 93 per cent and hardy plants, shrubs and trees were up 81 per cent.  Non-gardening sales, such as catering have remained down. 
 
The Market Update reports on garden centre sales in 2020 so far, following the lockdown measures imposed in March 2020 and subsequent re-opening of garden centres during May. 
 
While sales of bedding plants show strong growth compared to June last year for retailers (up by 33 per cent) a June survey of HTA member retailers revealed that 72 per cent of retailers who sell bedding plants were currently unable to get the stock their business needs from UK growers. Half of those surveyed said they were importing more bedding plants than this time last year. This suggests UK growers did not immediately benefit fully from the surge in consumer demand, with lockdown causing disruption and delays for stock production. 
 
Pent up demand, the move away from cash to largely card only payments and consumers making larger purchases less often may have also had an impact on the average value of consumers’ spend, with average transaction values for garden store sales experiencing 61 per cent growth at £36.91 June 2020 compared to £22.19 in June 2019. Consumers continue to make up for lost time and the extra time spent in the garden by stocking up on gardening supplies and higher priced items such as garden furniture and barbecues, and sales growth in these bigger ticket items has also been a factor in higher transaction values.  
 
HTA Futures and Sustainability Manager David Denny says warm weather and lockdown forcing consumers to spend more time at home 'has driven demand for gardening, garden projects and garden leisure. The garden has also become a ‘safe place’ for many to enjoy with family and friends in a socially-distanced way; and spending time outdoors is becoming increasingly recognised as beneficial to mental wellbeing – especially during these uncertain times.'
 
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