The January 2019 issue of HTA Market Update, published this week, reports that Garden Centre sales were up 3% across the whole year of 2018 compared to 2017. Houseplants continue to increase in popularity with sales of this category up by 15% year on year. Christmas categories saw strong growth in 2018 with December 2018 sales 9% up on December 2017.
In November, for the first time in 2 years, average pay growth overtook the inflation rate. In December, we saw inflation continue to fall whilst pay growth remained stable. This is a more positive position for consumers who then have more disposable income to spend on their gardens.
However, challenges do lie ahead. Concerns over Brexit deals and the UK’s economic situation remain, with consumers less confident and looking to save more than last year.
Martin Simmons, HTA Director of Operations comments “The figures that our members are reporting for last year, and particularly the strong growth in December, are encouraging as we move through an uncertain economic period this Spring season. In the past the garden industry has always shown some resilience to economic uncertainty. With a later Mother’s Day and Easter this year, and therefore the chance of better weather, there’s a possibility that consumers will want a distraction from Brexit, and a spend on garden plants and products represents a relatively low proportion of disposable income that members of the public may be keen to make.”
The January edition of HTA Market Update is now available 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/-market-update.html This issue looks at garden centre sales, overall market performance and contains a section on trends and a topical feature about the plastics problem in the garden industry.