Catering sales took over the top spot as the bestselling department at garden centres across the country during October (2022) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Compared to the same month last year (2021), sales were up 12.43%. Clothing sales were also up 0.25% after being in the top position in September too.
GCA chairman, Tammy Woodhouse, explains: “This time last year, many of our garden centre catering facilities were still being hit hard by Covid restrictions and the spread of the Omicron variant, with many still not having opened fully, so the figures for 2022 are unsurprisingly up, as we are now enjoying freedom once again.
Sales in houseplants were down -7.94%, outdoor plants were down -8.89% and -9.26% in seeds and bulb departments.
Garden sundries sales were also down -12.91%, furniture and barbecues were down -39.1% and pets and aquatics sales were down -7.02%.
Tammy added: “We believe we are being affected by the cost-of-living crisis and the squeeze on disposable income. However, footfall remains good, and we are optimistic for Christmas sales as we head into December.
“Gift sales were down -11.44% and Christmas sales were also down -10.02%, however we expect these to pick up in the November sales figures.
“Food hall and farm shop sales were also down -6.2% and hard landscaping sales were down -9.18%.”
Overall sales for the month were down -5.44% with a year-to-date variance of -3.2%.
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 BoT 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 visit www.gca.org.uk.