GCA reports sales growth

The GCA has reported that garden centre sales grew by 4.5% in 2019 – a marginal rise on the previous year. 
The biggest overall growth came from Houseplants (+16%), Catering (+10%) and Hard Landscaping (+8%). Furniture & Barbecue was weakest overall but still showed a 2% rise compared to 2018. Outdoor plants rose by 4% and garden sundries by 6%.
Catering now accounts for 20.6% of total garden centre revenue, followed byoutdoor plants at 17.3%, Garden sundries at 14%, Giftware 10.9%, Furniture and BBQ 7.4%, Christmas 7.3%. Farm food hall (5.6%), Pets and Aquatics (4.7%), clothing (3.2%), hard landscaping (2.5%), houseplants (2.4%) and seeds and bulbs 1.7%.
The overall rise was assured by good spring sales in March and April and, although May and June were down year-on-year, July, August and November were all good trading months for the industry. The average spend at tills also marked a rise (3.3%), whilst the average restaurant spend was up by 9%.
December turnover was up by 1% year-on-year despite a fall in Christmas related sales following a peak in November. Clothing constituted the strongest performing category (up 11%), followed by Houseplants (up 7%), Pets and Aquatics (up 6%) then gifts (both up by 5%). The Christmas category was down by 3% in December but rose by 4% over the whole Christmas period.
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