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UK DIY News

Garden Centres see strong start to 2011

Garden centres have experienced a strong start to the season with sales in some months rising by up to 60 per cent on 2010, according to Garden Centre Association (GCA) figures.

Outdoor plant sales have risen 50 per cent so far this year as consumers restock after the hard winter and take advantage of fair gardening weather. Small garden centres were up 36 per cent after the first two months of the year.

GCA chief executive Gillie Westwood said: "Early indications show this year is looking good with the majority up on last year. Keep that sun shining and frosts away."

Scotsdale managing director Caroline Owen, the HTA president, said: "Sales are up 16 per cent for 2011. Customer numbers are up 12.3 per cent and we are well up on plants, grow your own, seeds and compost sales."

Coolings reported a sales boost of up to 60 per cent in February. Europlants sales director Mark Smith said: "Proprietors of garden centres are very upbeat. The direction they are giving to their plant buyers is to base their decisions on knowledge built up over the years and not change their plans because of a few harsh months.

"We are seeing a real polarisation of our markets. At our open days last week we were catering for garden centre buyers and the amenity market. Garden centres are selling impulse lines such as patio plants. Retail nurseries and wholesalers are selling problem solvers - instant hedging, pleached trees and screening plants."

HW surveys of top-selling garden centre items in January and February showed plants such as primrose and primula making the top 10 this year after slipping in 2010.

Compost, hanging baskets and seed potatoes fared better in the first two months, as did perennials. Outdoor plant sales were much slower to start in 2010.

Source : Matthew Appleby - Horticulture Week

11 March 2011
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Thank you for the excellent presentation that you gave at Woodbury Park on Thursday morning. It was very interesting and thought-provoking for our Retail members. The feedback has been excellent.

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Martin Elliott. Chief Executive - Home Hardware.
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