GCA figures confirm a slow start to 2017

Despite a strong start for plant sales, GCA statistics show total sales were down in January and February with restaurants and gifts faltering. Read more

Bedding displays at Hillier in Newbury

Lots for the Garden Press to write about

There was plenty to see and hear at the Garden Press Event including a snail fence, outdoor fragrances, a new urban compost from Scotts and news of some enhanced summer events. Read more

Woodlodge's Dorset rocking chair.

UK growers scoff at Dutch views of Brexit

At yesterday’s HTA Contact conference one Dutch grower told how he fears that Brexit will mean no UK nursery industry within 5 years. Read more

Jan de Vries

2016 - a year of change

2016 saw second tier garden centre chains and independents invest as Wyevale consolidated. Homebase and Argos are sold. The HTA moved offices and moved to become the lead association for all gardening related businesses. Glyphosate, Xylella and the weather made frequent headlines. Scotts and Bayer looked for a way out of distributing consumer garden chemicals. Read our review – open to all. Read more

Bunnings buys Homebase

Who pays for the cost of Brexit?

Production costs are going up, so who pays? – Will it be the manufacturer, the grower, the retailer or the customer? Gardenforum chaired a debate of suppliers and retailers. Read more

Neil Grant, Sheila Hill, George Bullivant, Carol Paris and Alex Newey

Garden furniture sales up 12% in August

Garden furniture sales helped garden centres to +4.4% in August, but giftware sales fall again according to the GCA. Read more

Clothing sales were up 14% in August

July sales continue a roller-coaster year

The sales pattern in recent months shows how unpredictable garden retailing can be.  The biggest garden centres were up 6% in July but this brings them just level for the year. Read more

Garden centre sales are slightly up at the half year

After a strong start, June sales fell behind last year due to political distractions and the weather. But year-to-date they are up according to the latest figures from the GCA. Read more

Plant areas are scary places to visit

The HTA Plant Retail conference was held at the spectacular Ball Colegrave Grounds in Oxfordshire. Trends for the future included urban gardening and why the smart phone is at the heart of change. Read more

Will prices rise with a volatile exchange rate?

With the £ dropping to below $1.30 during yesterday’s Solex garden furniture trade show, Gardenforum asked suppliers how and when prices might be affected. Read more

Turn old stock into gold for Greenfingers

Old stock donated by Scotts, Wyevale Nurseries and Wyevale Garden Centres has raised £2,300 at auction for Greenfingers. The charity is asking any company with unwanted stock to donate it to Turn Old into Gold. Read more

Adam Dunnett at Wyevale Nurseries

GIMA golfers raise thousands

Glorious sunshine shone all day at the Telford Golf Resort where 20 teams of garden suppliers and retailers took a break from the season to play a round and raise funds for charity. Read more

Spencer Goodall drives for his birdie

May puts a bounce back in sales UPDATED

Sales figures reveal May was a good month and helped put centres back on track for the first five months of the year. Some chains were up 25% in May. Read more

March sales were up 5.6% says GCA

Official figures from the GCA show sales were better than expected in March.  The South-East did least well.  Scotland and Ireland fared best. Read more

Garden re-Leaf has already raised £57,000

With £57,000 already pledged for Greenfingers, Garden Re-Leaf is on the way to raising £100,000. Here’s a round-up of events around the country. Read more

Boyd Douglas-Davies at the end of his Plant-Athon

Suppliers assess impact of Brexit and look ahead

Suppliers reveal the impact of Brexit so far and look ahead. Imports costs have risen by up to 25%. Fears include the uncertainty, being outside the single market and customs bureaucracy. Read more

Squire’s and Cowells take the top GCA plant awards

It’s three awards each for Squire’s, Cowell’s and Barton Grange at The Garden Centre Association conference. Squire’s and Cowell’s are the best GCA plant retailers.   Read more

Colin & Sarah Squire,  Julian Winfield, Ian Hammond, Squire's plant manager& Roger Crookes

GC Christmas sales have ‘stalled a bit’ after a 7 – 10 year trend of huge increases

The majority of garden centres say Christmas sales were up but competition is increasing and December sales were disappointing for some. Read more

Challenging themes from the HTA Marketing Forum

How one garden centre used only Facebook to promote its Christmas opening evening and took £25,000. Social Media is about building relationships and engaging the community around you. Are you marketing to attract strangers or friends? Read more

Alan Down of Cleeve Nurseries

Can the EU survive as UK heads for a hard Brexit?

The current status of the Euro is not sustainable and a hard Brexit has risks in the medium term says the Future Foundation. Read more

Innovation and trends at Glee

Gardenforum highlights innovation and trends from a successful Glee. Read more

Latest results include Klondyke, Westland, Vitax, Grange & Kelkay

2014/15 results published this month show profits fell at retailers such as Klondyke, Clifton Nurseries and Thompson Bros (Esher). Several suppliers, such as  Kelkay, Keter (UK) MPB Garden Buildings and Vitax grew strongly. Read more

Keep calm and carry on

During the GIMA Awards evening there was a presentation to Richard Bence, Garden Re-Leaf Day announced a huge increase in funds raised and there was Brexit advice from the GIMA president. Read more

Chris Ramsden, Peter Utting, with Linda Petrons and John Ashley of Greenfingers

Consumer confidence shaken by Brexit vote

The GfK Consumer Confidence Barometer has shown its sharpest drop in 21 years, leaving home, living, DIY and grocery sectors particularly vulnerable. Read more

Stay of execution for glyphosate - UPDATED

EU grants an 18 month extension for glyphosate based products as the Health Commissioner expresses concern that that member states could not accept EU commission proposals. Read more

Health Commissioner V Andriukaitis

Brexit vote creates great uncertainty

Brexit vote has created uncertainty about exchange rates and in the minds of consumers, even though nothing changes legally for 2 years. Read more

Challenging time for retailers despite online boost in May

According BRC / KPMG retail sales lifted in May after 2 flat months, but they warned that it's still a challenging time for retailers. Read more

Cold weather holds back spring sales

The strong start to May will have consigned the woes of April to history for many retailers. That will make reading of the April figures from the Garden Centre Association easier. Read more

St Peter's Garden Centre Worcester looks ready for business

Why didn’t someone ring me to sort it out?

Who is holding back the business and who is getting it right. Derek Bunker of Altons Garden Centre tells suppliers at GIMA. Read more

Derek Bunker

Has TV publicity started a revival in houseplant sales? 

Garden centres are reporting several noticeable trends such as:- the strength of garden furniture sales and the revival of houseplants, but will the referendum hit sales? Read more

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