Gardeners across the country enhanced their outdoor spaces during September which led to a rise in sales in hard landscaping, according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade report.
Compared with the same month in 2019, sales were up 72.37%. Iain Wylie, GCA chief executive explains: “Hard landscaping sales have been steady through the summer, but it was a surprise to see the category come out on top during September, especially with houseplants always being so popular.
“Home DIY has been huge since the pandemic and people have been decorating and fixing up their houses, so it’s no surprise that they have wanted to continue this trend and extend it to their outdoor spaces too. Many people have taken on the DIY approach and created outside sanctuaries for themselves, perfect for enjoying during any more potential lockdowns to come.”
Christmas was the next big seller during the month, with sales up 58.42%. Sales in garden sundries were up 54.46%, seed and bulb sales were up 49.37%, outdoor plant sales were up 43.02% and houseplant sales were up 47.62%.
Iain adds: “Everyone is aiming to make Christmas bigger and better than ever and make it a day where we can all forget about the difficult year we’ve had. This means people are getting their shopping done earlier than normal just in case of future lockdowns not allowing them to get out before the festivities.”
Furniture and barbecue sales were up 2.58% and pets and aquatics sales were up 7.32%. Food hall and farm shop sales were up 23.08%, clothing was down -1.24% and catering was down -13.41%.
Overall sales for the month were up 21.18% with a year to date change of -12.34%.
Tony Jackson, partner at Bernaville Nurseries in Devon, says: “September sales have seen continued growth across the garden centre with houseplants, spring bulbs, hard landscaping and garden sundries selling particularly well. Signs are looking promising for Christmas and gifts sales and clothing sales are beginning to pick up. Restaurant and cafe sales remain reduced due to limited seating capacity.”