Christmas sales fell in December, but overall turnover was marginally up according to the GCA. Annually sales grew by 4.5% with catering contributing over 20%.
Garden Centre Association figures for December 2019 show sales grew 1% for the month, but the Christmas category was down having peaked in earlier months.
The best performing product categories were houseplants (+7%), Pets and Aquatics (+6%), clothing (+11%) and gifts (+5%). Catering was up (+5%), but the Christmas category was down (-3%). However, over the whole Christmas period the category was up +4%.
For the year garden centre sales are up a healthy 4.5%. Helped by the good spring sales in March and April. May and June were down on record months of the previous year, but July, August and November helped consolidate the year.
Catering (+10%), Hard Landscaping (+8%) and Houseplants (+16%), showed the biggest growth. Furniture & BBQ was the worst performer, but was still positive at (+2%). This was a good performance adding to the growth in the heat of 2018. Outdoor plants improved by +4% and garden sundries by +6%.
Average spend grew 3.3% at the tills in the garden centres and 9% in restaurants, suggesting most of the growth came from about the same number of customers who spent more.
How the categories split
Catering now contributes 20.6% of total garden centre revenue, ahead of outdoor plants at 17.3% and Garden sundries at 14%.
The next biggest category is giftware at 10.9%. Furniture and BBQ contributes 7.4% and Christmas 7.3%. The others are Farm food hall (5.6%), Pets and Aquatics (4.7%), clothing (3.2%), hard landscaping (2.5%) and houseplants (2.4%). Seeds and bulbs contribute 1.7%.
Source : Reproduced with permission from George Bullivant of Gardenforum.co.uk