Good weather in July saw sales in furniture and the barbecue categories soar at garden centres across the country. That’s according to the Garden Centre Association (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Compared to last year (2017) sales in furniture and barbecues were up 22.21%.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “The Great British weather has gone from one extreme to another this year.
“We got hit with freezing temperatures and snow early in the year, but things started improving through April and May.
Barometer of Trade figures see rise in barbecue and furniture sales
“We experienced much better weather in June and garden centre sales improved.
“The weather continued to improve, so much so that we ended up getting hit with a heatwave across the country. Temperatures reached 30°C or more.
“It looks like garden centre customers embraced the hot weather by spending time in their gardens and cooking up food on the barbecue. But it was much too hot for any gardening, which meant sales in outdoor plants were down 10.33% and seeds and bulbs down 18.83%.
“Houseplant sales picked up at 7.22% and garden sundries sales were up 2.33%.”
Sales in pets and aquatics departments were also down -9.17% and hard landscaping was down -9.38%. Food hall and farm shop sales were down -0.73%, clothing was up 0.88% and catering was down -2.89%.
Overall sales for the month were down -1.07% with a year to date change of 0.85%.
Sharon McNair of Tong Garden Centre, said: “Leisure sales in July saw a 31% increase on July 2017. Barbeques were 68% ahead of like for like sales last year.
“The good weather and a positive vibe created by England doing so well in the World Cup has helped sales.
“With such a great long-term forecast, customers were confident that the summer would be good. They were keen to enjoy being outdoors, making the most of their outside space. Especially after such a long winter and poor summer last year!”
The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement.
They are available mid-month following the end of the prior month.
Chris Leslie of Busy Bee Garden Centre said: “The sunshine stimulated our July sales. This exceeded the previous month and were 25% up on July last year.”
The BoT reports allow members to compare their trading positions with other centres.