Clothing and food halls/farm shops were on the up during July, according to the GCA barometer of trade results.?An increase of 16.96% compared to last year was also seen in clothing.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: ?It?s great to see non-traditional categories such as clothing and food halls/farm shops doing well during July. Joining the two categories in the top spot was houseplants, which saw a rise of 13.93% compared to 2014.
?Sales in outdoor plants were up 9.09%, which is very positive considering the ever changing British weather we had through the month. Catering sales were up 10.38% and gifts up 11.14% so it was a good month for most categories.?
Sally Cornelissen, Director at Burleydam Garden Centre in Wirral, which recently received the award for best garden centre in the North West at the GCA?s annual inspections, said: ?This July has been exceptionally good. We were concerned that the poorer weather compared with 2014 would be a challenge, but strong performances from hardy stock, garden sundries and furniture sales coupled with the expected increase in catering turnover has delivered pleasing results.
?There is a definite rise in consumer confidence as illustrated by increased interest in high ticket items. We hope that this confidence will ride out hints of a rise in inflation in the light of the increase in minimum wage in October.?