Strong March for garden centre trading

The monthly Garden Centre Association Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures show a ‘very strong’ March 2024.

Old Cash register

According to data submitted by Garden Centre Association (GCA) member garden centres, none of the categories recorded were down when likened to March 2023 and the year-to-date variance was +9.12%.

GCA CEO, Peter Burks says: “March has been a very strong month for our members. It was definitely helped with Easter being in the month this year. Customers were clearly out in their gardens with hard landscaping showing the biggest increase in sales compared to March 2023. Plants and garden sundries also showed big increases, which is very good news. All categories showed a positive result, all garden centres of all sizes/turnovers were up, and every member region was up too. Our smaller garden centres, those in the under £3 million turnover bracket, made the biggest percentage increases, +27.17%, with our East region showing the best regional increase by far at +22.62%.”

GCA data shows that garden centres in the South saw an increase of +13.87%, in the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland it was +12.1%, and in the Midlands, Wales and West +10.77%.

Excluding Christmas and the miscellaneous section, the GCA’s top performing category in March 2024 was hard landscaping, up +38.42%, when compared to the same month in 2023. This was followed by outdoor plants at +32.39%, garden sundries at +28.86% and clothing in at +22.07%.

Food hall/farm shop also recorded a positive return in March, in comparison to the same month last year, and was up +20.21% and seeds & bulbs was at +16.24%. Catering was in at +16.21% and pet & aquatics at +13.8%, houseplants at +10.39% and gifts at +8.99%.

GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement.