Customers at garden centres across the country prepared themselves for the good weather by buying furniture and barbecues for their outside spaces according to the Garden Centre Association?s (GCA) Barometer of Trade results.
Furniture and barbecue sales in April were up 37.46% compared to the same month last year (2016) with outdoor plant sales close behind at 33.22%.
Iain Wylie, GCA chief executive, explained: ?We love nothing better than when the sun is shining. Lots of householders have been busy getting their gardens ready in order to enjoy the sunshine. They?ve been purchasing garden furniture and barbecues, so they can make the most of their outside spaces as possible and this has been reflected in the figures recorded by our members.
?Garden sundries sales were up 27.65% and hard landscaping up 20.88%. Smaller garden centres showed a greater increase in plants as they make up a greater percentage of their sales.?
Clothing was another good seller with sales up 17.36%.
Iain added: ?All that shopping must have made customers hungry, as they spent time in our members? food halls and farm shops too, where sales were up 13.74%. Catering sales were also up 7.40%.
?The results are reasonably consistent across the country, but we expect it will be a completely different story with May?s results.?
Pets and aquatics sales were up 6.68%, seeds and bulbs were up 3.27% and houseplants were up 9.70%.
Sales showed an average overall for the month of 21.86% and an average overall Year to Date increase of 11.07%.
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.
For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.