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Wyevale Garden Centres forecasts 11% rise in sales of real Christmas trees


The UK’s largest garden centre retail group, Wyevale Garden Centres, predicts that this weekend will see a surge in sales of real trees, with tens of thousands of trees being sold in their centres at their annual Real Tree Weekend events.  The garden centre retailer predicts that they will see a +11% YOY sales rise on its real Christmas trees this year, selling more than enough trees to fill London’s iconic Wembley Stadium, with more than one million shoppers through their doors.

As a recent survey by Wyevale Garden Centres and YouGov has shown, demand for real trees amongst British consumers remains high, with the YouGov survey demonstrating that now one in five of us would prefer a fragrant real tree that drops needles as opposed to a non-needle dropping tree with no scent. This has been reflected in the buying habits of Wyevale Garden Centres, the retailer has increased their buy of the Fraser Fir and Norway Spruce varieties that are particularly fragrant by 25% YOY.

Traditionally, the Nordman Fir is the most popular option for real Christmas trees, however over the past few years Wyevale Garden Centres have been pioneering a more sparse ‘Swedish’ style of Nordman Fir. This style is exclusive to Wyevale Garden Centres and is the result of tailored in-the-field pruning of the trees that creates larger gaps between branches. This more lightweight look is a response to the rising customer demand the retailer has seen for real trees that can cater for their oversized tree decorations. The retailer also predicts XXL trees to be as popular as ever, they have seen demand for trees of 6ft and above grow year on year, especially amongst their male shoppers. Insight gathered from the YouGov survey supports this observation, with Dads proving the most likely to buy a bigger Christmas tree. 

Despite the ambitions of Dads for huge trees, Mums are most likely to take charge of buying the family Christmas tree. When it comes to decorating the tree, 84% of British parents said they would allow their children to decorate the tree. Furthermore, when asked if they re-decorate the tree afterwards, less than half of mums and dads admit to doing so.

David Mitchell, Christmas tree expert at Wyevale Garden Centres says, ‘We’re expecting to see thousands of families through our doors to choose their real trees, especially with the Real Tree Weekend events taking place in centre on the 3rd & 4th and 10th & 11th of December. The first weekend of December is always when we see the first surge in real trees sales as we move in to December and people feel that Christmas is finally on the approach! 

David Mitchell continues, ‘The quality of the trees we sell at Wyevale Garden Centres is undisputed, our trees are pruned by hand more than twenty times in their life-cycle and genuine craftsmanship goes into creating this truly artisanal product. We are so confident in that our real trees will stay looking good until Christmas, that if shoppers aren’t completely happy we’ll replace their tree for free any time before Christmas Day!’

David Mitchell continues, ‘This year we have experienced a cool snap during the autumn season, unlike the continuous warm autumn’s we have seen in the past couple of years, creating the perfect growing conditions for these trees. Cool weather at the final stage of growth for these trees prompts them to go into hibernation, ensuring they retain water and will stay in great shape for longer.’

Wyevale Garden Centres Real Tree Weekends

The Real Tree Weekends will be taking place at Wyevale Garden Centres up and down the country on the following dates:

-         Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th  December

-         Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th December

Families are welcome to come down and enjoy a complimentary hot chocolate while they search for their perfect tree and Wyevale Garden Centres’ expert advisors will be on-hand to provide tips and advice on choosing and maintaining your real Christmas tree.

6 Top Tips from David Mitchell, Wyevale Garden Centres’ real Christmas tree buyer, on maintaining your real Christmas tree for the entire festive season:

1.       Choice: There are some things you can do before you’ve even got your tree home. When choosing a tree make sure it has no browning needles and give it a stroke to see how many needles fall off. If you don’t like needle-dropping trees try the Nordman Fir variety (starting at £19.99 at Wyevale Garden Centres). Try to avoid trees pre-wrapped in netting, if they are pre-wrapped they tend to warm up sooner and therefore decompose at a quicker rate. At Wyevale Garden Centres we remove trees from netting and regularly mist them to ensure their quality.

2.       Placement: Where you place your tree will impact how long it lasts, though it may look great to have it next to your roaring open fire, heat from radiators and fires can dry your tree out and lead to premature needle tdrop It’s best to place your tree next door a door or window.

3.       Floor Cover: Placing a decorative floor protector underneath your real tree will collect any needles that drop and speed up your post-Christmas clean-up.

4.       Preparation: Treat your real tree the same way you would fresh flowers and trim roughly half an inch from the bottom of your tree to increase water absorption. Use a handsaw to ensure the cut is straight and the tree stands completely upright.

5.       Decoration: Try to handle your tree as little as necessary when decorating and use LED fairy lights as they emit less heat and will keep your tree fresher for longer.

6.       Tree Stand: It’s best to mount your tree in a specially designed hollow stand that allows you to water your tree. Alternatively, you could fill a bucket with stones and bury the trunk within it. Finish by filling the bucket with more stones and then topping up with water. Whichever method you choose, continue watering your tree throughout the festive period.

Source : Wyevale Garden Centres Press Release

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02 December 2016

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