Christmas comes early at garden centres

Garden centre customers started preparing for Christmas last month, with sales of festive products up year-on-year, according to the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Barometer of Trade.

Christmas product sales were up 12.26% for the month compared with September 2012. Other good sellers were gifts, up 7.96%, food hall/farm shop and clothing up 7.57%, and catering up 6.29%.

GCA chairman Peter Burks commented: “We have noticed that a lot of people have started their Christmas preparations earlier, resulting in strong sales of festive products at our member garden centres. We believe this could be a result of the current economic climate, with more people choosing to spread the cost of Christmas out over a few months.”

Tammy Woodhouse, managing director of The Millbrook Garden Company, said: “Our Christmas product sales were particularly strong last month. I believe this is partly as a result of us launching the ranges earlier on in the season than we have done in previous years.

“This year, we also decided to expand our Christmas product range to give customers more choice and it seems as though this is already starting to pay off. We are hoping to see the strong sales carry on during the next few months too.”

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