After winning a Gold Medal at Chelsea this week, Crocus.co.uk co-founder Peter Clay told listeners to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money programme on Wednesday last week, 25th May, that he thought UK garden centres had “significantly struggled over the past five years.”
He went on to say; “I don’t think it’s been a happy time to be in the garden industry. I think that the traditional garden sector is very dependent on key dates in the calendar so the majority of garden centres really rely on successful bank holiday weekends and all you’ve got to do is have a bit of a wash out of a weekend and that can seriously damage sales”
Well Peter, we’d like to know exactly who were you referring too? You certainly haven’t been reading GTN Bestsellers and tracking real sales data. The GTN Bestsellers All Products Index has risen year on year for four out of the past 5 years with 2015 being 7.1% up on 2011 totals. Only 2012 was a down year when the late spring and summer weather was really cold and wet.
And this year the weekend of 7th and 8th May – NOT a Bank Holiday – was the busiest on record!
Perhaps Peter was referring to purely web based garden centres? I wonder what the Top 20 Plants are sold by Crocus? I doubt they will be selling the huge numbers of looking great impulse buy plants that are clearly driving volumes as seen in the GTN Bestsellers Epos data.
If you’ve got a message we can get to the BBC to re-dress the balance please e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here's a transcript of the interview:
BBC 5 Live Wake Up to Money -25th May 2016 5:55am
Listen at 42:00 mins into the programme using this link
Shaun Farrington, BBC 5 Live: How has the garden centre sector been lately? We’ve got 2,300 of them across the country. Is it a great time to be a garden centre in the UK?
Peter Clay, Co Founder of Crocus: I’d say not. I think they’ve struggled significantly over the last five years. I don’t think it’s been a happy time to be in the garden industry
Shaun Farrington: Why is that? If Chelsea was booming then surely you’d see people flocking in at the weekend?
Peter Clay: I think that the traditional garden sector is very dependent on key dates in the calendar so the majority of garden centres really rely on successful bank holiday weekends and all you’ve got to do is have a bit of a wash out of a weekend and that can seriously damage sales
Louise Cooper BBC 5 Live: You are an online gardening shop. How does online work? Because with so many areas online is growing – grocery, clothing are really beginning to dominate the industry. With gardening I don’t decide to do the garden until I wake up and the weather is warm by which time it’s too late for me to order anything online.
Peter Clay: Yes, except you will probably wake up on a Monday morning and decide that you ought to do something next weekend and that gives us plenty of time get an array of plants delivered.