Modest growth in October garden centre trading

The November Market Update by the The Horticultural Trades Association’s (HTA’s) shows, despite a stormy month, that the UK garden centre retail saw positive trends in October.

Old fashioned cash register
Photo by Lukáš Lehotský on Unsplash

Despite Storm Babet, the wettest October since 1998 and ongoing economic uncertainty, the horticulture industry has shown resilience and strength.

“With adverse weather conditions and the inherent limitations of October as a typically smaller sales month, the horticultural sector showcased a commendable +2% growth in overall garden centre sales compared to the same period last year. This growth is particularly noteworthy considering plant sales suffered from the relentless rain but showed strong performance for year-to-date comparisons (Bedding was +12% and Hardy plants were +10%).

The strength of our performance in plant care and tool categories, coupled with a slight increase in Average Transaction Values to £23.67, reflects sustained consumer interest in their green spaces. In the non-garden/gardening categories, catering soared at +19% and food and farm shop also did well, up +9%, demonstrating that even the poor weather couldn’t dampen the spirit of our garden centres as customers seek shelter and leisure in garden centre cafes and restaurants”, explained Fran Barnes, Chief Executive of the HTA.

According to the HTA, other updates of note include the Consumer Confidence Index experiencing a notable decline of -9 points to reach -30, reflecting consumers’ cautious outlook amidst concerns about energy prices, fuel costs, and Christmas expenditures. Recognising these challenges, the HTA identified that providing extra incentives for customers to visit during the upcoming festive season in November and December will be key.

HTA Members can read the full report on the association’s website.