Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market
For some, the Easter break flew by far too quickly but, for many retailers, the long weekend probably dragged on, with yet more arctic-style weather and disappointing sales. I did brave the elements on Bank holiday Monday - to purchase a coat rack of all things. Whilst out I even saw one optimistic couple loading the patio furniture they'd bought from Homebase into their car boot. One can only presume they were tempted by the half-price sale, rather than any hope they'd be entertaining in the garden in the foreseeable future.

While the Easter Bank Holiday weekend has long been hailed as the crucial kickstart to the gardening season, without the weather on our side, it loses its impact. In fact, a poll on diyweek.net in the lead up to long weekend saw 34% choose the option 'forget Easter, sales will pick up when the weather does'.

It is of little surprise then to hear that Westland has delayed its lawncare ad campaign or that B&Q swapped a DIY promotion in for the garden offers it had originally planned for the weekend.

Of course it's frustrating that so many consumers avoided their local DIY and garden stores over the weekend but, as I listen to wind howling outside my window and spy yet another sprinkling of snow, I don't blame them from steering clear of their gardens or delaying that new coat of paint in the lounge.

It is quite apt really that Hillier's Chelsea garden is centered on the theme of risk this year. And really that's what businesses in our sector do - manage the risks until the clouds clear.

No one is jumping for joy over their Easter takings but no one is pulling their hair out either. The retailers we spoke to remain fairly upbeat, mainly because they weren't pinning their hopes on this one weekend. They're realistic and realise, rather than make purchase decisions based on calendar events, homeowners need to be encouraged by a spot of sunshine before they start thinking about tasks around the home and garden

We don't even need scorching temperatures - Brits will barbecue in almost any weather. All retailers and suppliers have to do is make sure they're set and ready to go for when that first ray of sun breaks through the clouds. And it will come...
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Posted by Fiona Garcia | 8 April 2013 | 12:01 | More from: Editor's Blog

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