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HTA: 'Value, localism and community' should be garden market targets

According to the HTA Garden Market Retail Analysis 2012, published 26 April, there is now clear evidence that the ongoing economic challenges are impacting on the garden market and that the industry is not completely recession proof.

HTA Director of Marketing and Communications, Andrew Maxted, comments, “There are signs that the financial squeeze is having an impact on the ability of consumers to spend on their gardens. With the UK economy now officially back in recession the industry needs to focus on value, localism and community to retain its position in the market.”

He adds, “Younger consumers are particularly feeling the pinch and the opportunity that lies ahead is to retain their interest through these challenging times. There is still great interest in plants, growing your own and entertaining at home and in the garden.”

The HTA Garden Retail Market Analysis 2012 shows how despite a squeezed market place many garden centres are increasing sales by cross selling to existing customers. Examples of this include rapidly increasing garden centre catering sales across the industry (up £80m over the last three years) and the sale of non-garden ranges, such as food and gifts.

Reporting on the nine key categories which account for the majority of Britain’s garden spend the HTA Garden Market Retail Analysis 2012 shows that over the course of the year categories where consumers could either delay purchasing or shop around online, such as garden furniture, lawn mowers and garden tools, saw reduced levels of spending but plant sales have only shown a slight fall.

Mail order and online channels across garden retail performed strongly as seed catalogues up their online activities and younger consumers shop around online for bigger ticket items.

Competition in the market is particularly close for the under 45s. The younger consumers are also the ones most likely to use other channels, other than garden centres and DIY stores, for their garden purchases and given their lifetime value and current spending of well over £1 billion they remain a key audience to tap into for future growth.

Source : Garden & Hardware News

27 April 2012
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