The March 2019 issue of HTA Market Update, published this week, reports that nationally, garden centre sales recovered well this year from last February, which saw the ‘Beast from the East’ cause major disruption. Despite starting off cold, February 2019 was recorded as the warmest February since 1998.

The report shows that comparing February 2019 vs February 2018 sales were up a significant 35%. The rolling year to February 2019 vs 2018 shows sales up by 5%. Calendar year to February 2019 vs 2018 sales are up by 25%.

2017 is added in to the report to add a further comparison to this year’s sales and reveals that hardy plants have experienced an impressive 42% growth over the last 2 years.

HTA Director of Operations, Martin Simmons comments "It's great to see strong sales in February. The 'Beast from the East' last year had a dramatic effect on our sector but when compared with February 2017 it's encouraging that this year retail sales are up across all categories. HTA nurseries are also reporting strong performance suggesting that this is being replicated in the wholesale sector and demand for UK grown plants is strong. Given the current economic instability this is an encouraging start as we build towards the peak season"

The overall consumer confidence index score increased by one point in February but remains three points lower than February of last year. Concerns over Brexit deals and the UK’s economic situation remain; with consumers less confident and looking to save more.

The trend pick for this month’s Market Update looks at Foresight Factory’s ‘Light relief’ trend which highlights how the way people want to spend their leisure time is changing, with a growing desire for using leisure time to just relax rather than learn new things or complete tasks.

The March edition of HTA Market Update is now available free for members to download from the HTA website, by logging in and then going to the Market Information pages at https://hta.org.uk/learn-develop/market-information.html This issue looks at garden centre sales, overall market performance and contains a section on trends and a topical feature about the outlook of HTA members for the coming months.

For a copy of the report please contact the HTA Media Office.

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