The Met office has confirmed that double the normal amount of rain has fallen over the past month, making this June the wettest since records began in 1910, but more positive forecasts for the rest of the summer means there is hope yet for retailers to cash in on outdoor products.
June has officially become the second rainfall record-breaking month so far this year, following the epic downpour of April. Trade has dropped in the outdoor living sector across garden centres and DIY stores across the UK as consumers opt to stay indoors, but the Horticultural Trades Association has said that better weather forecasted could mean a second spring for the garden centre industry.
Director of business development at the HTA Tim Briercliffe pointed out that many garden centres can still cash in with special deals on plants which can flower for up to 12 weeks, shrubs which can benefit from the soil being wetter than usual and hanging baskets. He added: "There has never been a better time to start planting, and garden centres are full of quality plants."
Grow Your Own ranges are also a potential area where garden centres can claim revenue lost to the dullest June on record. Leaf salads and vegetable plants can still be put into beds or planted in allotments, and fruit bushes are also ripe for planting, according to the HTA.
It will come as little surprise to many outdoor living retailers that just 119.2 hours of sunshine were recorded for June, narrowly missing out on the record of 115.4 in 1987. It was also the coolest June on record since 1991 with a mean temperature of just 12.3 degrees Celsius.
With the Met office predicting brighter forecasts for later this month, many retailers will be hoping this will bring the boost their weather-dependent wares so desperately need. Nonetheless, the HTA are encouraging discounts and offers to help shift stock of high ticket leisure items in the run up to the Olympics.