The Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures from the Garden Centre Association (GCA) for May (2023) showed a huge leap in sales of seeds & bulbs and for outdoors plants.
GCA member garden centres recorded seeds & bulbs up by 113.59% last month when compared to May 2022 and outdoor plants were up by 24.94%.
Peter Burks, Chief Executive of the GCA, explains: “We saw a very strong set of figures returned for May, especially considering the weather didn’t improve until mid-month. It certainly shows what a bit of sunshine, coupled with some pent-up demand, can do.
“Eleven out of our 13 categories were very positive with furniture & BBQ the only one significantly down at -10.76%.
“The other good performers in May were catering, up by 20.16%, and our food hall/farm shop category at 16.97%. Clothing sales saw an uplift of 14.08% and garden sundries 8.02%. Pet & aquatics came in at 6.08% and houseplants were up by 5.62%.
“In fact, it was a very strong month for gardening overall, with food and catering still doing well too. The only real concern remains furniture but that has definitely improved with the warm weather. Our May data has helped to close the year-to-date figures right down.”
May’s BoT returns also revealed gifts were up 1.25% and hard landscaping up 0.38%.
Overall sales for the month came in at 12.31% with a year-to-date variance of -2.39%.
“By region, the North East (1.55%) and Wales and the West (1.09%) are both now recording positive sales for the year. While all our other regions are posting negatively, they aren’t too far behind with South Thames at the bottom of the table at -3.48%. So, things are looking much brighter all round.”
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.