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Garden Centres Expected To Place Large Pre-Season Orders

Garden furniture egg chair shutterstock_1062012566

Gardenforum has been in touch with garden centres across the UK, asking: 

“What will your approach be to stock for the rest of this year and for next spring.  Are you increasing orders, expecting demand to remain strong or being more cautious, expecting customer demand to fall back?”

Customer demand expected to remain high

The responses were very consistent.

  • Demand will remain strong for the present, but there might be a correction next year.
  • Garden centres will keep shelves full. In many cases they are holding more stock than ever.  
  • There are still delivery delays which could continue into next spring and
  • There are concerns about the delivery of Christmas stock, especially lighting.

David Little of Poplars said, “I see no reason why demand should fall back next Spring. There is nothing we can see right now that says this will happen. We’ve had a good run since the release from lockdown last year. Most garden centres I speak to have good financial reserves built up so we can afford to sit on a bit more stock…  As always the weather will determine our fortunes next Spring season.”

Chris Francis of Hillier spoke for many when he said, “I expect customer demand to remain high and expect stock to continue to be in demand. As always we build stock well in advance of every season which is going to continue to be important to avoid shortages.”

Stock delays

Simon Bourne of Perrywood explained, “We have considerably more stock right now than normal which is good if it is the right stock and if prices continue to rise. There will still be delays well into 2022 due to raw product and transport delays so I expect to place large pre-season orders and keep stock levels high.”

Poplars still has 4 containers of garden furniture on the water and a further 3 booked in for delivery this week. A good percentage of this stock is already reserved and will complete a phenomenal season of outdoor living sales.  Looking ahead David Little said, “We are a little nervous about Christmas arriving on time. We hear that lighting could be in short supply or delivered later than we would like.”

Demand will soften

Blue Diamond’s MD, Alan Roper predicted that demand will soften next year.   

Julian Winfield of Haskins agreed, “We are confident that our garden centres are in a good position going forward to maximise sales with customers continue spending more time at home etc but accept at some point in the future we may have a correction as our customers get more confident about travelling.”

Source : Reproduced with permission from George Bullivant of GardenForum

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29 July 2021

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