Garden centres and nurseries offer open-air atmosphere for consumers concerned about COVID

by Kristin Tadlock

Though the UK is no longer in lockdown, many consumers remain cautious about coronavirus. Concerned about the risk of being in crowded areas, many are looking for alternative ways to spend a day out. The HTA’s August Market Update report indicates that in post-lockdown times 50% of consumers will look to spend more time outdoors and 52 % plan on spending less time in crowded, indoor spaces such as malls.  

Open and airy garden centres and nurseries are likely to be an appealing option for customers. Whilst many people are now more comfortable shopping and returning to 'normal activities', for those who remain cautious, Covid-security measures will provide confidence. These factors could encourage increased footfall and sales as consumers continue to invest in improving the outdoor spaces at their homes during post-lockdown times.  

Garden furniture sales have increased 8% from July 2020 and are up 63% from 2019. This is indicative of the consumer major purchase index where most consumers believe ‘now’s the time to buy’. Similarly, national garden centre sales were up 3% from July 2020 and 27% from July 2019. Garden/gardening sales were down 13% from last year July when the first national lockdown caused a boom in gardening sales. However, non-gardening/gardening categories are down 3% from July 2019 indicating that consumers may still be slightly hesitant to visit catering facilities. Though catering ATVs have increased by 60% on July 2019, footfall is seemingly still reduced and sales remain down.