Here's 10 Reasons to be Cheerful from the team at GTN after weeks of doom and despondency:
Last weeks garden centre trading was above the average for the first week of April over the past 7 years. Sales are heading back on track!
We’ve had bad March’s before and that usually leads to a Mad May with big sales peaks around the May Bank holiday weekends.
There will be a spike of gardening activity in the next two weeks as late spring plants and trees come into flower and grass grows at rapid rates.
Customers still have money to spend – during the cold spell they have not been spending on the high street either. As the new destination Blue Diamond Garden Centre shows, if they get out and go to a garden centre they will spend money.
Having not re-stocked during March or April, after the spikes coming later this month and with the first May Bank Holiday garden centres will be needing to fill gaps on shelves and add potentially Bestselling new product lines to ensure they have the best chance to get their turnovers back up to parity with last year by the Summer.
Mid May should be the time when the industries cash flows get back to normal, so orders for Autumn gardening, Autumn Wild Bird Care and Christmas Gifts will come on stream then.
7. Even the Met Office is now saying the weather will improve over the coming weeks: “There will also be drier periods with some sunshine.” Is their forecast for mid-April. “By next weekend generally fine and dry conditions are most likely to be in place with above-average temperatures.”
8. Without a doubt more plants will be bought to be grown in containers this summer, more children will be encouraged to enjoy plants and gardens and there will be an explosion of gardening on TV around Chelsea and the flower shows.
9. Analysis of EPOS data supplied by garden centres to GTN every week for GTN Bestsellers shows that generally when Easter is in April it provides a good sales benefit and when it is in March it only provides a benefit if the weather is exceptionally good. In other words we should not be looking at a poor Easter in 2018 as a sign of a poor year, just that Easter was at the wrong time and as always happens in the UK, gardening sales get going when plants start growing and that will just be a bit later this year and not at Easter as many would have been wishing for. 10. The same amount of plants will grow - fast - when it all gets going and that will create new opportunities for sales. The bold will make the most of that by ensuring their marketing gives them a loud voice during May while those who sit back and do nothing will miss out - just like they did if they were banking on Easter 2018!