HTA Director General, Carol Paris, comments, “2012 was a tough year for the garden industry. The wet weather combined with the effects of low consumer confidence and increasing competition has been challenging.”
She adds, “Older, affluent consumers do remain comparatively insulated from the economic downturn, standing the industry and particularly garden centres in good stead. But younger consumers’ spending on gardening is increasingly squeezed by the stuttering economy and falling levels of home ownership. Finding ways of getting these consumers into gardening and adapting to how they shop is going to become increasingly important for us in the coming years”
The Garden Market Retail Analysis 2013 shows varying performances for different garden categories. Overall spending on garden products was down by 14% compared with 2011. Consumer spending on garden furniture by contrast was down 21% as consumers made increasing use of the internet to research and make purchases in the category. Garden plants were down by 11% compared with the previous year.
Despite these challenges, the report shows that consumers continue to enjoy gardening and their gardens. There are opportunities to appeal to customers’ desires for natural, authentic goods, home entertaining and socialising and the satisfaction to be gained from a great looking garden. And with more than six out of ten British adults visiting a garden centre in 2012, the nation’s appetite for gardening and great garden retail environments remain in good health.