Clothing sales warm up in September

Garden centre customers were updating their wardrobes during September and potentially planning for the colder months according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report (2022).

Sales in clothing departments were up 5.79% compared to the same month last year (2021).

GCA chairman, Tammy Woodhouse, explains: “After some good weather in August and September, it seems our garden centre customers are thinking about the colder months ahead and updating their wardrobes in preparation. It could be that they are investing now in good quality items to keep them warm as the cost-of-living crisis looms and the rise of utility bills hits everyone.”

Sales in traditional categories were down for the month with houseplant sales down -8.66%, outdoor plant sales down -19.62% and seed and bulb sales down -13.5%.

Garden sundries sales were also down -23.35% and furniture and barbecue sales were down -31.57%. Pets and aquatic sales were down -10.1%, gifts were down -11.91% and hard landscaping sales were down -30.04%.

Tammy added: “September definitely felt like the month customers began tightening their belts due to the cost-of-living crisis. Also, during the month, we unfortunately saw the sad passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and out of respect during her funeral, many of our member centres closed for the day, leading to a drop in footfall.

“Food hall and farm shop sales were down -10.58%, however catering sales were up 1.23%.”

Overall sales for the month were down -13.41% with a year-to-date variance of -3.24%.

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.

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