Garden retail returns to an ?average? season

This spring has seen a return to a ?average? season according to many businesses across the industry helped by more usual weather patterns, compared with the previous two years.?The latest figures from the HTA Garden Retail Monitor published in HTA Market Update show that garden retail sales are currently ahead by 21% (to the end of May) compared with 2013.

This follows a buoyant March which saw garden centre sales up a whopping 77% on March 2013, followed by April which was 21% up and then a modest May which was 2% ahead.

HTA Chief Executive Carol Paris comments, ?Many businesses are breathing a huge sigh of relief after better sales this spring. There is much talk of it being a ?normal? season? and we mustn?t forget that sales didn?t really start last year until May 2013 which goes some way to explaining the huge gains this year plus the drop off in May. Whilst there are no guarantees that sales throughout the year will be equally good it is certainly a very good lead to have at a very important time of year for the garden industry.?

Growers attending the HTA Ornamentals Meeting last week reported having a good season with much stronger sales and importantly less plant wastage. However, a lot depends on the next couple of weeks as to how long the tail to the season extends.

Members can download the HTA Market Update from http://bit.ly/1rfVBoV where they can also register to receive a revealing Eyetracker Report, complete with footage of shoppers in action. The HTA commissioned research views garden centres from a ?shopper?s eye view?. Special camera fitted were used what customers were looking at and how they shopped in store. The report aims to show you what we found and how you can best use this research to get the most out of your stores. It includes information on colour blocking, emotional shopping, point of sale information and much more.

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