THE CATEGORIES with the biggest increase in sales during last year (2015) at garden centres across the country have been announced by the Garden Centre Association as part of its Barometer of Trade report.
Clothing and catering, as well as food hall and farm shop sales, saw sales increase more than traditional categories such as outdoor plants.
Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “Clothing saw the biggest increase in sales in the year with sales 15.81% up compared to 2014. It proves beyond doubt that garden centres are increasingly becoming destinations where people can pick up everything they need all in one go.
“They’re also great places for families to visit and the improvement of restaurants and cafés has led to an increase in catering sales of 9.93%. With all the products they need, garden centres have become somewhere a family can visit and make a day out of. They can also stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”
Food hall and farm shop sales were up 14.05% compared to 2014. Furniture and barbecue sales reached a height of 9.95%.
Iain added: “While it is great to see less traditional categories doing well, it is the more traditional categories that are of the greatest value to garden centres and it is encouraging to see that these, more mature, core categories are increasing too. Outdoor plants saw an increase of 7.8%, houseplant sales were up 6.84% and seed and bulb sales were down -0.42%.
“Pets and aquatics sales were 3.48% up compared to 2014 while Christmas sales were up 8.72% and gifts up 4%. Hard landscaping was up 3.94%.
“Overall it was a fantastic year for garden centres and we’d like to congratulate of our members for their continuous hard work and dedication, here’s to a brilliant 2016.”
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.
The reports allow members to compare their trading positions with other centres.
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.
Through sharing information and its inspection programme, the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.
For further information, please call 0118 930 8918. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.