Appalling weather, low consumer confidence and squeezed consumer spending have all taken their toll resulting in garden centre sales for the year to the end of June 11% down on last year with May sales 8% down and June sales 3% up.
June itself was arguably a positive result given the especially wet conditions we saw and whilst consumer confidence remains low levels have stabilised when compared with 2011. Despite this somewhat gloomy picture there remains optimism that the improved weather combined with a feel good factor around the Olympics will play a part in stimulating sales, especially with people so desperate to get out into their gardens.
HTA Director of Marketing and Communications, Andrew Maxted comments, “The latest HTA Market Update reflects the reality of exceptionally tough trading conditions this spring. Growers, garden centres and landscapers alike have seen the wettest and coldest April-June period in memory combining with low consumer confidence and squeezed household budgets. The core garden market is however resilient and still shows every sign of wanting to take advantage of the recent improvement in the weather and this latest report focuses on opportunities within the older and keener gardening consumer segments. At the same time the narrowing gap between inflation and earnings should help attract younger gardeners back into the market and the HTA’s new Plan it, Plant it autumn PR campaign is very much designed to build on this.”
The August edition of HTA Market Update, which includes a feature on the effect of the economy on garden spending and the latest research on key market drivers, is now available for members to download from the HTA website
For further information about Plan it, Plant it this Autumn visit www.the-hta.org.uk/autumn
Gill Ormrod, Angela Bean or Cassie King
HTA Media Office
Tel: 0118 9303132
Notes to editors
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) is the trade association for the UK garden industry. It is dedicated to helping develop the industry and its member businesses, including most garden centres and other garden retailers, growers, landscapers, manufacturers and service providers. The HTA was founded in 1899. Its key roles include: provision of advice-based services such as business improvement schemes, briefings and help lines; training, conferences and events for members; market information and research; promotions such as the National Garden Gift Voucher scheme; and working closely with government and the media to influence policy and projects