skip to main content
  • *
  • *
Find Insight DIY on
* * *


Garden centres pushing for relaxation of Easter trading laws

Members of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) are calling for the Easter trading laws to be relaxed so gardeners can enjoy four days of uninterrupted sowing and planting.

Under the 1994 Sunday Trading Act, retailers with 3,000 square feet of selling space cannot open on Easter Sunday despite being one of the busiest gardening weekends of the year.

Peter Burks, Chairman of the GCA, explained, “Gardening is a family-friendly, relaxing pastime that brings people together and provides a wonderful respite from the stresses of modern life. It can be good for both mental and physical health. Grandparents, parents and children all garden together and a visit to the garden centre is considered a leisure activity.

“The general public finds it very upsetting, confusing and frustrating that they cannot visit their favourite local garden centre, which they often view as a social and community hub, on Easter Sunday for a gentle potter or to get essential supplies to be able to complete important gardening projects. They get very angry and vent this on our members who they feel are closed by choice as they have no idea about the law.

“As an industry we need to look at ways of helping explain to our customers why we have to be shut and that we are open as normal on the other three days. But we would also like to see garden centres exempt from the current law and would welcome discussions with the Government on this going forward. A campaign for the relaxation of the laws is not out of the question.”

Nearly every garden centre in the country is unable to open on Easter Day and the GCA says this law is costing the horticultural industry at least £10million as the Easter weekend is traditionally during the peak gardening season.

Peter added, “Our members want to be able to serve their customers. It is silly that a garden centre’s restaurant can be open on Easter Sunday but no other sales can be made.”

The GCA says Easter Sunday trading may be worth 25% of the total sales for the Easter week.

Peter continued, “It is an age old debate that the industry has been embroiled in every year since 1994. Now I feel we need to move this along and to start at least helping our customers understand why we have to be closed and perhaps seeing if they can exert some pressure on the powers that be if they would like us to be open. We may even consider asking members to see if they can poll customers or start petitions.

“The relaxation of the Sunday Trading Laws during the Olympics last year was an interesting development for the industry and we saw this as a glimmer of hope. In order to stimulate the economy, improved trading conditions are needed for businesses.”

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Source : Garden & Hardware News

11 March 2013
view more UK DIY News

Insight DIY is the only source of market information that I need and they always have the latest news before anyone else.

Neil Anderton - Sales Director, British Ceramic Tile

Don't miss out on all the latest, breaking news from the DIY industry