UK garden centre sector looks back on an ‘excellent month of August’

GCA CEO Peter Burks.

The UK’s Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) August Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures have revealed an ‘excellent month’ with members seeing an uplift in 11 of the 13 categories recorded by the organisation.

The BoT also highlighted a positive year-to-date variance of +1.13% for member garden centres.

Peter Burks, GCA chief executive, explains: “August was an excellent month with all categories being up, except two, producing a very encouraging result overall. Plants, seeds and bulbs all performed well, suggesting our customers were taking advantage of the cool and damp conditions to keep planting; with large, strong, early displays of autumn colour helping.

“To add to this, the benefits of having a broad retail offering came into play on those wetter days. All departments showed improvement over last year, except for a small decline in garden sundries, and the problems in furniture and BBQ sales remain ongoing. Restaurants remain buoyant and continued their strong year with another big increase.”

According to the BoT results, furniture and BBQ sales were at -40.8%.

The best category in August was seeds & bulbs at +26.45%; followed by clothing at +20.84% and outdoor plants at +18.59%. Catering recorded +17.53% for the month.

The food hall/farm shop category was up +12.54%, pets & aquatics jumped by +8.62% and gifts by +6.07% when compared to August 2022.

Houseplants came in at +3.42%, hard landscaping was up +2.45% and garden sundries down to -1.26%.

The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement. They are made available mid-month following the end of the prior month after all member garden centres have submitted their results.

The BoT reports allow members to compare their trading positions with other centres.

The GCA represents UK garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

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