Garden Centre Barometer of Trade Report for May

Clothing was one of the top selling categories at garden centres across the country in May (2022) according to the latest Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report. Sales in the department were 22.63% up compared to the same month last year (2021). Catering was the top selling category up 75.69%.

GCA Chief Executive, Iain Wylie explains: “It’s no surprise that catering is still coming out on top, as it is still making up for its losses during the pandemic, but now we are beginning to see clothing make a comeback too. Clothing shops and departments within garden centres were closed for longer periods during the lockdowns so it’s encouraging to finally see things re-adjusting back to ‘normal’.”

Furniture and barbecue sales were also up during May at 4.56%.

Sales in houseplants were down -18.88%, outdoor plant sales were down -0.01% and seed and bulb sales were also down -4.81%.

Garden sundries sales were down -6.95%, pets and aquatics were down -12.19% and gift sales were down -14.6%.

Sales in hard landscaping were also fell to -16.78% as well as food hall and farm shop sales at -16.15%.

Iain added: “It is clear that, if nothing else, the weather is having a greater impact on garden centre visits just like before the pandemic. Of course, there are other factors influencing spending, whether it’s the cost of living or the greater choice of where and how customers spend their time, with more attractions fully open and more events on the calendar.

“People do still want to spend more time in their gardens, sales are ahead of pre-pandemic levels and purchases of barbecues and furniture this month, when the weather was good reinforce that belief.”

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.

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