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GTN's Greatest Christmas Awards are back!
Barton Grange Christmas 2020 - Exclusive GTN Xtra Photo Tour
Plants & growing media are star performers at start of Lockdown 2
Simpsons expands with purchase of Aberdeenshire garden centre
Little Dobbies opens in Edinburgh
Homebase up for sale after recent overhaul
Plant sales increase in Lockdown 2
From minus 50% to plus 2%, growing media feeds the gardening bug
Supply chain keeps moving with Stax during pandemic
Horticultural businesses optimistic but cautious for 2021
Thieves break into Dobbies Garden Centre
BBC Gardeners’ World Live set to return in 2021
Tong Garden Centre keeps it local for new uniform
Glow illuminations to continue at RHS gardens
Kew Greeen Hotels and Tabletop are joint winners of Pennies Breakthrough Award
RHS receives record £1.8m donation to Bridgewater
bio-bean Certifies as a B Corporation
Casual Dining postponed until September 2021
Dobbies teams up with Teenage Cancer Trust to thank local heroes this Christmas
Tim’s Ties help Mr Fothergill’s Raise Money for BBC Children in Need
Get your own copy of GTN Xtra
MP visits at British Garden Centres
Houseplant care feeds sales
Who will be The Greatest Christmas team for 2020?
Garden Press Event goes virtual for 2021
HTA launches new training development programmes
Dobbies launches series of Christmas podcasts
Celebrating with Christmas Lunch at Squire’s
The best of last week's
Lockdown 2 leaves garden centre car parks empty after record sales for October
Suttons Seeds acquired by T&M
LOFA reports severe disruption at UKs three main container ports
Not your average garden centre - Dobbies launch Christmas Ad Campaign
Lockdown 2 hits sales, but volumes still ahead of last year
Fosseway Garden Centre make the right choice with Corby & Fellas’ WinRetail system
Festive announce Christmas 2021 showroom opening dates
Garden Centre Photo Tours
Haskins Snowhill re-opens after £15m re-vamp
British Garden Centres open their 58th centre at Thatcham
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Horticultural businesses optimistic but cautious for 2021

Business confidence is returning to UK garden industry after the record crash in confidence in spring, says the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), as shown by its new Business Confidence Index survey of members and supported by positive garden centre sales in October, with 17% growth on October 2019. 


The Business Confidence Index assesses members’ confidence in sales and areas of investment in the business over the next 12 months and will be used to demonstrate the pulse of the industry during these times of uncertainty.  


Business outlook crashed in Q1 2020 when the impacts of COVID-19 began to take effect. However, both short- and longer-term business outlook have steadily increased to Q3 2020, albeit remaining at lows not seen since 2013.  


The Index reveals that most members are feeling comparatively optimistic about their future sales and many are looking to target new customers. The fragile market environment though is limiting their willingness to make more significant business investments, such as buildings or new premises. 


David Denny, HTA Futures and Sustainability Manager, comments: “The Business Confidence Index is a barometer of industry opinion and potential actions. After an incredibly challenging year, it is encouraging to see some measure of confidence return to horticultural businesses. There are grounds for optimism, but we know businesses are nervous about planning and future investment.” 

James Clark, HTA Director of Policy and Communications, said: "The horticulture sector has an important role to play in the economic recovery after Covid but to realise this in 2021 we need Government support. Commitment to the sector through tax breaks and incentives to invest and bring on new staff is essential, as is policy change that recognises the huge importance of seasonal labour to horticulture businesses. This will ensure we can make the significant contribution to the UK economy we're capable of.” 


October’s positive outlook was driven by exceptional garden/gardening category sales that finished the month 45% up on October of last year. Non-garden/gardening ranges also showed signs of recovery, helping calendar year to end of October comparisons finish -12% down on the same period of 2019.  


Average transaction values were up 28% and 54% in the garden store and café/restaurant respectively, compared with October 2019. Catering typically makes up 21% of turnover in November amongst garden centres with a catering offer; so with cafes and restaurants forced to close once again, overall sales are likely to be hit, especially as we move out of the traditional gardening season. 


Retailers are advised to continue the hard work to implement a safe trading environment by controlling customer numbers and avoiding Christmas events that cause people to congregate until at least Wednesday 2 December. 


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