2020 got off to a promising start with January 2020 garden centre sales up 8% compared with January of last year according to the latest HTA Market Update report, published this week.

Hardy plants, shrubs and trees saw a sales increase of 27% compared to January last year, houseplants were up 26%, and sales of outdoor containers were up 25% in month to month comparisons between January 2019 and January 2020.

The February issue of Market Update also looks at garden centre Average Transaction Values and potential disruption to the supply chain caused by coronavirus.

HTA Futures and Sustainability Manager David Denny comments, “January saw garden centres get off to a positive start to the year which is in line with the comparatively warm start to 2020. Less obviously weather driven good news though is that garden centres increased their transaction values in catering compared with 2019. However, we should remember that January’s one of the smallest months in terms of the value of garden centre sales. Consumer confidence and weather through to the spring and new factors such as the coronavirus will likely be key to how the 2020 season turns out.”

The report looks at last month’s garden centre sales and overall market performance. It measures consumer confidence, the wider UK economy, vehicle fuel prices, groundwater levels, weather and business confidence.

HTA member business confidence for the next three and twelve months is very optimistic, with one third of HTA members scoring 7 for feeling ‘very positive’ about their business outlook in the next year.  The consumer confidence overall index score increased two points to 9 in January, the second consecutive month of improvement following December’s election. Weather reports highlight that January 2020 was the sixth warmest January on record, and the warmest January since 2007.

HTA Market Update reports are compiled using the HTA Garden Retail Monitor (GRM) which uploads sales data directly from garden centre EPOS systems, where it populates reports for different product categories.

The GRM currently receives data from 62 garden centre premises, whose retailers use the online platform for business benchmarking and performance analysis. Sales data is securely and automatically uploaded via their EPOS system and populates reports so they can compare performance against regional and national averages. Sales can be analysed by product category or specific time frames, and by a variety of metrics like gross profit, average transaction value and more.

 HTA Market Update is available free for members to download from the HTA website, by logging in and then visiting the Market Information pages here.

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