BIRMINGHAM, the UK: The February edition of HTA Market Update, published this week, reveals that the garden industry is starting off 2014 on a much firmer footing than 2013. At the end of the year garden centres were 6% up on 2012, with December sales alone 6% up buoyed by a strong performance in Christmas ranges.
The economy is now showing definite signs of recovery which bodes well for 2014 although there are still questions over how sustainable or strong the recovery will be. Consumer confidence is now at its highest level for six years and consumers’ willingness to believe that now is a good time to make major purchases has increased. Another encouraging sign if this willingness extends to major garden purchases or improvements.
This edition of HTA Market Update looks back at the figures from the HTA’s Garden Retail Monitor which provides a view of garden centre sales. Some of the highlights include bedding plant sales (5% up in 2013), landscaping product sales (12% up) and Christmas (7% up).
There is also a sneak preview of some eyetracker research which shows how consumers shop bedding displays. This is a great demonstration of how colour blocking and well thought out plant displays can engage consumers’ senses and drive impulse purchasing.
HTA Chief Executive Carol Paris comments, “With the economy now in recovery mode and consumer confidence on the up it will be the weather that decides whether 2014 turns out to be a good season.”
She adds, “I would encourage you to view the Eyetracker clip which provides a fascinating insight into what catches the eye when shoppers are viewing bedding displays.”