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Snow Flurries Caused Slow Sales but Sledges Flew off the Shelves in UK

People were reluctant to shop in garden centres during January (2013) due to the weather according to figures from The Garden Centre Association's (GCA) Barometer of Trade (BoT) report. Following strong sales in the lead up to Christmas (2012) garden centres saw a slower month in January with indoor departments showing the best sales figures.

Peter Burks, Chairman of the GCA, explained: "Our members saw an excellent run of sales prior to Christmas so January was a bit of a downer due to the weather with sales coming through in dribs and drabs. "Indoor departments performed much better than more weather-dependent areas, with pets and aquatics up 8.19% as compared to January 2012 and clothing up 6.25%. We also know our member garden centres that stocked sledges saw high sales for these, with many selling out.

"Unfortunately other areas saw slower sales, with houseplants standing at 19.37% down, seeds and bulbs 34.15% down and garden sundries 18.38% down." The GCA BoT reports are compiled using actual sales figures and provide an up-to-date trading position statement.

Ian Richardson, Managing Director of Garsons, which has two stores in Esher and Titchfield, said: "I think retailers in most parts of the country expect to be disrupted by the snow at some stage during the winter months and we all hope that when it does arrive it's after the busy Christmas period, as it was this year. "We try and make the most of the poor conditions by tempting the locals in to our warm, inviting restaurants and perhaps sell them a sledge or snow shovel on the way out.

"Our Farm Shops always have a few very good days before the poor weather is forecast to hit as people panic buy to ensure they can survive over the following two or three days." The BoT reports produced by the GCA allow member garden centres to compare their trading positions with other GCA garden centres. The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide. Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

Source: HortiTrends News Room