SALES at garden centres across the UK had been up and down throughout April (2018) according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report.
Outdoor plant income remained under at -12.73% in contrast to the same month last year but could have been lots worse if the inclement weather had endured says the GCA.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “Sales during April had been very up then down. The first two and a halfweeks showed persistent bad income till the weather turned as we headed closer to May. This means thataverage sales were down for the month, on the other hand we anticipate to see them improve by of May then a record breaking start throughout the Bank Holiday weekend.
“We believe that had the bad climate continued for the remainder of the month, the poor sales could havebeen a lot worse. Sales in some non-traditional categories delivered incomplete reassurance so our April results produced income in catering were up 1.33% and apparel up 15.92%.”
Gardeners commenced preparation for the season as seed and bulb income were also up at 5.75% and houseplant sales were up 7.13%.
Sales within garden sundries were down -11.16%, furniture and barbecue income were down -11.12% and pets and aquatics were down -6.37%.
Gift income was beneath -4.5%, hard landscaping was down -20.6% yet meals and farm shop income were under -10.23%.
Overall April income was below -8.36% with a 12 months to date change of -10.86%.
Mark Winchester, Managing Director at Blackbrooks Garden Centre in East Sussex, said: “April was very much a month of two halves as far as income is concerned, suffering large dips of up to -36% in earlier weeks but then intense gains of +30% for later weeks.
“Overall our April sales were level compared to 2017, which we were happy with thinking about the poor beginning to the month. We did not provide any discount to fight the terrible start as spring usually arrives sooner or later each year. Knowing when however is nonetheless a mystery!”
The GCA BoT reports are compiled using real sales figures and provide an up-to-date buying and selling position statement. They are made accessible mid-month at the end of the earlier month after all member garden centres have filed their results.
The BoT reports permit participants to compare theirs trading positions with other centres.
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.
For further information, please call 01244 952170. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on towww.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation then follow the association on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.