April was a boom month for the garden industry and whilst May has not continued at the same pace sales of plants and garden products have been strong when compared with many retail sectors.
Data from the HTA Garden Retail Monitor (GRM) reveals that garden centre sales in April were up 25% on April 2010, and year to date up 21%. The garden industry capitalised on the opportunities presented by a late Easter, an extra Bank Holiday weekend and good weather although many HTA members report sales slowed in May as cool, wet weather hit the UK. Figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show a distinct slowdown in May with total retail sales on the high street down by 0.3%.
Andrew Maxted, HTA Director of Marketing and Communications, comments, “With the continuing pressure on consumer spending, the trend to retreat to the garden and Grow Your Own coupled with favourable early season weather has lifted the industry this year. With Alan Titchmarsh’s new ITV show ‘Love Your Garden’ starting this week (Friday June 10th at 8pm) and high profile events such as Gardeners World Live and the Hampton Court Flower Show still to come, gardening is outperforming other retail sectors and we remain optimistic about the remainder of the season.”
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