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Opportunities for garden retailers this Christmas

Published: 9 November 2010
39% of garden centre visitors say they are likely to visit their local garden centre specifically for their Christmas areas and ranges, according to the HTA.
Opportunities for garden retailers this Christmas
Following what it described as a 'roller coaster' season this year, the HTA believes that Christmas 2010 presents opportunities for garden retailers, with an encouraging number of consumers set to visit their local garden centres over the festive period.

After a tough winter and trading during the spring on a par with last year, the HTA's Retail Business Benchmark figures reveal that garden retail sales slipped back in Q3, leaving the industry 5.7% behind for the year ending September.

The latest HTA Garden Industry Monitor (GIM) Market Update Report, says the 'retreat to the home' that is often commented upon in line with the recession has resulted in increased footfall at garden centres, with 62% of adults now visiting garden centres, compared with 52% in pre-recession 2007.

Meanwhile, the picture in the wider economy remains both precarious and uncertain, as the impact of the recent Spending Review begins to play out.

Overall, the weather in 2010 has not been the best for the garden industry and Sally Cornelissen of Burleydam Garden Centre and the HTA marketing committee commented: "There is no doubt in my mind that recession has caused sales to plateau in the latter half. The run up to Christmas should be similar to last year if we keep our nerve. Consumers do tend to find that bit extra when it comes to the crunch and the appeal of a perfect Christmas is hard to resist."

HTA research also suggests that in order to prosper, garden retailers must capitalise on the value of younger gardeners, and the strategies that are likely to meet their needs this Christmas and into next year.

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