Garden centres across the country enjoyed positive sales in furniture and barbecue departments thanks to one of the hottest Easter breaks on record in April.
Sales of furniture and barbecues were up 28.36% compared to the same month in 2018, according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
GCA chief executive, Iain Wylie, said: “The weather was certainly on our side during April and we enjoyed fantastic record-breaking temperatures over the Easter break, which meant customers flocked to their local garden centres. The contrast between this April’s weather and the first half of April 2018 couldn’t have been greater.
“Easter Monday in particular was a huge hit for us as it was the hottest on record in all four nations of the UK according to the Met Office.
“As well as furniture and barbecues, we also saw strong sales in outdoor plants as these were 11.74% up compared to the same month last year. Hard landscaping sales were also up 17.71% and food hall and farm shop sales were positive at 13.21% up.
“We have been very lucky after already enjoying a positive March and to also enjoy good weather in April too. It just gives everyone a real boost.”
Houseplant sales were also up 18% and sales in garden sundries were up 8.62%.
Mr Wylie added: “Catering sales were up 5.75% and gift sales were up 4.1%. Seed and bulb sales were down -6.54%, clothing sales were down -2.28% and pets and aquatics sales were up 0.75%.”
Overall sales for the month were up 10.69% with a year to date change of 17.49%.
Gary Carvosso, managing director at Coolings Garden Centre, said: “Easter sales exceeded all expectations with four days of clear blue skies. People were certainly in the mood for gardening in earnest and have been in fact since the warm spell in February.
“Our new plot to plate garden, which is growing fresh salads for Arthur’s restaurant, has inspired many and Easter saw Grow your Own vegetables jump by over 50% on Easter 2018 and house plants being back in vogue saw a 70% leap.”
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.