In This Issue
Dobbies Horticulture Director Marcus Eyles departs after seven years
St John’s Garden Centre under new ownership
Dobbies appoint new Chief Marketing Officer
Corby + Fellas announces another WinRetail implementation
Hozelock unveils groundbreaking automatic hose system
Award success for RocketGro at Klondyke Plant Show
Annual awards highlight team success at Notcutts
GCA announces Chairman Elect for 2024/2025
Fond farewell to Rod Austin after 24 years at British Garden Centres
Garden centre owner appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester
British Garden Centres raises over £15,000 for Garden Re-Leaf Day
Update on Kate Ebbens’ 366 daily run for Greenfingers
The Old Railway Line raises £1,470 for Greenfingers
New peat-free seed compost launched by Mr Fothergill's
GIMA Charity Golf Day – Now open for bookings
Wyevale Nurseries to exhibit at Four Oaks Trade Show
Popular TV gardener David Domoney partners with Irrigatia
Peckish encourages consumers to not just feed the birds, but to grow them a home too
AMES Tools: Exclusive deals for garden centres
elho’s essential ‘Grow Your Own’ innovation awarded coveted Which? Best Buy
Hex Living adds wheelie bin storage to range
Buy from the best at Autumn Fair 2024
Group Commitment, GTN Interview with Caroline Owen, Chair of the Tillington Group in GTN March 2024 Issue
Senior Sales Account Managers/New Business Generators 
Get your copy of GTN Xtra
Dutch Spring Trials take place in week 18
RHS and Wildlife and Birdcare Nature Recovery Project
spoga+gafa – garden creation & care
RHS awards the highest honours in horticulture
AIPH announces jury for World Green City Awards
The best of last week's
Dobbies appoints Jonathan Wass as Chief Financial Officer
Wet February sees modest market growth
Navigating the current challenges in garden retail - GIMA Conference report and pictures
GIMA Awards are back for 2024 – entries now open
94% of exhibition space at spoga+gafa already sold
SOLEX Exhibition to kick off festivities with Awards Ceremony and Afterparty
Whisk out your tongs: SOLEX's Fire Food & Outdoor Living Evening returns for its second sizzling year
Special hotel rates for SOLEX Visitors - limited availability - book now
Situations Vacant
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North and South Regions
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Wet February sees modest market growth


Despite facing a deluge of rain across the United Kingdom, the Horticultural Trade Association’s (HTA) Market Update in March 2024 reports that garden centres in February 2024 remained positive, with a +6% increase in overall garden centre sales compared to the same period last year.


Fran Barnes, Chief Executive of the HTA, commented:

“In February 2024, England experienced extremely heavy rainfall, with the southern half of the country being hit the hardest, receiving nearly 15 times the amount of rainfall compared to February 2023. Despite this, garden centre sales saw a rise of 6% compared to February 2023 and 11% compared to February 2022, indicating a positive start to the upcoming Spring season.

“Although some gardening categories faced challenges, such as a 6% decline in hardy plant sales and a 4% decrease in seed sales compared to the previous year, customers continued to invest in bedding plants (up 6%), bulbs (up 6%), and indoor plants (up 5%) in February 2024. Gardening sales in the first two months of the year are typically small, but these figures suggest that consumers are taking a proactive approach in preparing for the Spring gardening season and enhancing their indoor spaces while waiting for the weather to improve.

“Our Market Update also shows a dip in consumer confidence, which fell 2 points in February 2024 due to the announcement of the UK entering a recession. However, confidence levels were still 18 points higher than the previous year. Notably, concerns for the National Health Service (NHS) have surpassed financial worries for only the second time since the onset of the pandemic, reflecting shifting priorities amidst ongoing societal challenges.

“Besides domestic factors, global dynamics continue to influence the market landscape. Uncertainty in the Middle East contributed to a surge in crude oil prices, subsequently impacting fuel prices. Furthermore, shipping container costs remain elevated, at 82% higher than last year. This adds pressure on business overheads alongside rising wage bills as the National Living Wage sees upcoming revisions in April.

“Looking ahead, the HTA is mindful of not only the potential challenges posed by unpredictable weather patterns and potential delays in plant supply but also the impending changes to imports from the EU with the introduction of Border Control Posts and switching off the Point of Destination checks that currently happen. As spring approaches, our peak season, our members are under huge pressure to ensure a steady supply of plants available within garden centres at a suitable price point. We are still asking the government to keep the current on-site expert plant checks system actively working until such a time when we have clarity and confidence that BCPS can effectively handle our goods. We also need to ensure that significant cost and administration burdens are not placed on our member businesses, predominantly SMEs. Our members remain agile in adapting their strategies to navigate these uncertainties effectively, but we need to ensure they are supported to keep Britain gardening and green.”

Members can read the full report on our website.

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