September’s GCA Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures have just been released and they show it was a ‘good month’ for members with an already ‘strong’ start to Christmas sales (2023).
The BoT saw an uplift in nearly all the GCA’s 13 categories recorded at member garden centres and also revealed a positive year-to-date variance of +2.22%.
Chief Executive of the GCA, Peter Burks says: “September was a very good month for our members with nearly all categories showing an increase, the notable exceptions being furniture and houseplants.
“Fortunately, the hot week early in the month prompted some strong late furniture sales and then it was packed away by most centres, so the negative impact it has been having all year was much reduced this month.
“Overall gardening was very strong. It’s great to see autumn planting going well and this positive outdoor trend was extended to hard landscaping, which also had a good month, at last. Yet again, food hall and catering sales showed impressive increases across last year. It was also nice to see early Christmas sales starting strongly.”
The best category in September was Christmas up at 31.72%, followed by food hall/farm shop up 14.65%, catering at 14.47% and then hard landscaping at +10.67%.
Clothing also performed well in September and was up at 8.88%. As did pet & aquatics, which was +5.08% when compared to August 2022.
Gifts were up at 4.22%, outdoor plants at 3.96%, garden sundries at 7% and seeds and bulbs at 0.93%
According to September’s BoT results, houseplants were down -4.67%, furniture and BBQ sales were -3.77% and other miscellaneous other items recorded as -0.31%.
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 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