Early Christmas opening paying off for garden centres
Published: 28 October 2007
Sales boost indicates the Christmas period will be robust.
With most Christmas departments in full swing, garden centres are indicating strong initial sales for the start of the season.
Stewarts marketing manager Richard Loader said opening one week earlier (on October 3) than last year has been worthwhile for the Dorset-based garden centre.
"It has paid off with steady sales in all areas right from the start. Christmas cards have been selling especially well this year with animated characters like the Birdy Song Turkey drawing the crowds at weekends and during half-term."
He added that a Christmas blog on the centre's website is already seeing a lot of hits, primarily from within its catchment area and appears to be stimulating interest in its special Christmas displays.
Mr Loader continued: "We are anticipating a strong demand for Christmas trees this year due to the apparent shortage of supply – thankfully we secured our requirements in good time."
Meanwhile Christmas shops at Whitehall Garden Centre in Wiltshire and Bristol, are both generating sales rises – with each section colour co-ordinated with more use of slat board for clear space and easier shopping.
"We have introduced many new lines which have seen our sales rise by 10% compared with last year," Crhis Self, managing director told diyweek.net. "Although we opened our Christmas shop on October 3 there seems very little criticism. It would appear customers almost expect the Christmas Shop to be open by this date."
David Danning at Trelawney Garden Leisure in Cornwall added: "Christmas has started off very well, we opened the last weekend of September and sales are up 11% so far this month at Wadebridge and over 25% at Barnstaple."