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Wyevale Garden Centres predicts 11% rise in sales of real trees

Potted Nordman Fir 725

The largest retail garden centre group in the UK, Wyevale Garden Centres, is predicting this weekend to be the one of the biggest sales weekend for Christmas trees with tens of thousands to be sold over real tree weekend.

Buoyed consumer confidence with the demand for quality Christmas trees has prompted an expected sales increase of 11% of quality Real Christmas trees from the British Isles, with enough stock to fill the Barcelona Nou Camp Football Stadium. The increase in sales supports a recent OnePoll study where over 52% of customers assess the quality and shape of a tree before selecting their Christmas tree – this is compared to other indicators such as price and height. The OnePoll survey also reveals that 20% of Brits will make their Christmas tree the backdrop of their social media posts this year.

Despite fears from British tree growers that cheaper alternatives are flooding the UK market, the estimated growth also shows key trends as consumers use Christmas tree buying as an honoured tradition. A strong trend emerging is the demand for larger sized trees reflected in increased sales of their largest sized trees of 240cm and above (sales up 55%) and in select centres sales of their very largest XXXL sizes (over 3m). Trees up to 4m are of limited availability and take pride of place within the Christmas tree section and are already 30% sold through. Other popular trees include the larger Swedish style, Nordmann Firs, which were a big hit last year, especially across centres where value for money is a high priority, as customers can get a bigger tree for less and in a different style.

Another intriguing trend has been the demand in certain regions to bring back the Norway Spruce Christmas tree, a tree that triggers a strong sense of childhood nostalgia which seems to be a strong driver for selecting a traditional Christmas tree.

“The picking of the family Christmas tree is a long tradition that the nation gears up to, marking the official start of the festive season at home, but we do advise customers to pick their tree as early as possible to ensure they get the best looking tree. The scent, style and size of the Christmas

tree are all key factors we see our shoppers seeking advice on, with many asking for the biggest one we have in stock!” says Dan Zinner, trading director at Wyevale Garden Centres.

David Mitchell, Christmas tree expert at Wyevale Garden Centres adds, “It is worth going the extra mile to ensure quality standards – it is important to oversee the whole life cycle of a tree, which gets pruned 20 times in the course of its life, so we class them as artisan products as there is real craftsmanship in how they are pruned. There should be no reason that any of our trees lose their quality, so our guarantee to customers is that if they aren’t happy with the quality than Wyevale Garden Centres will replace it with a new one up until Christmas Eve for free”.

Real Tree Weekends

* Saturday 12th and 13th December

Real Tree Weekend will take place across all of Wyevale Garden Centre’s 151 centres throughout the UK. Activities include: Free hot chocolate for the whole family, a free tour from their Tree experts and festive foraging for children.

Christmas Trees Factbox

* It takes 12 years to grow the correct size and shape

* Trees are hand pruned 20 times during their growth cycle - one of the most difficult crops that Wyevale Garden Centres has to manage

* Prices of the core range of trees are from £19.99 to £79.99

* Real Christmas trees are environmentally friendly – removing carbon dioxide from the air while growing and are then pulped and put back into the ground

5 Top Tips on Choosing the Perfect Tree

1. Choose a tree that isn’t pre-wrapped in netting so you can really see the shape and the branches won’t permanently be stuck upright

2. The colour of the needles should be a dark green rather than pale and washed out, and needles should feel waxy to the touch and not dry. Try stroking the tree and seeing if needles come off

3. When first brought home, keep your tree fresh for longer by chopping off the bottom a few centimetres and soaking it in a bucket of water outside – at least overnight, but for as long as possible before bringing indoors.

4. Keep the tree away from draughts and direct heat and ideally use LED lights, which emit less heat and are better for the environment

5. Check the variety for needle-drop, too. Nordmann firs are known to retain their needles for longer

Source : Wyevale Garden Centres Press Release

11 December 2015

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