Non-traditional categories outsell others in December

Catering was the bestselling department at garden centres across the country for the third month in a row during December (2022) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.

Sales were up 19.66% compared to the same month in 2021. Other non-traditional categories that were good sellers during the month included food hall and farm shops, 14.07% up, and clothing at 18.7% up.

GCA chairman, Tammy Woodhouse, explains: “During December 2021, many of our member’s restaurants and cafés were still under Covid restrictions, so it’s no surprise that sales were up in 2022, once restrictions were completely gone.

“Most customers had finished their Christmas shopping by December time and were instead spending their money in more non-traditional categories such as clothing and food hall and farm shops. We are aware of many garden centre restaurants posting record day sales during December, which is quite unusual, but would suggest customers are still very happy to spend money on a good food experience, and bodes very well for the year ahead.

“There was even a small flurry of sales in the seeds and bulbs departments as sales were 1.11% up compared to the previous year, as customers prepared for the upcoming new season.”

Houseplant sales were down -8.39% and outdoor plant sales were down -20.28%.

Sales in garden sundries were down -12.43%, furniture and barbecue sales down -5.79%. Pets and aquatic sales were up 0.62%.

Tammy added: “Gift sales were down -2.95% and Christmas sales were also down -1.01%.”

Overall sales for the month were up 2.14% with a year-to-date variance of -3.04%.

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.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

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