Retail sales of garden products have seen steady but modest growth since 2013 and, by 2016, AMA Research estimated the market to be worth around £4.5billion. Early indications are that this trend is continuing into 2017, with a further 3% growth forecast for the current year.

However, there are also a number of factors that negatively impact on

market value and growth.

Examples include: • The UK has a notoriously unpredictable climate, and bad weather in spring and summer will often have a negative impact on the market in any given year.

• The average size of UK gardens continues to shrink, a trend which may adversely affect future demand in some product sectors. Also, one in four UK houses now have gravel or paving instead of a front garden containing grass and/or plants, mainly to address pressures on parking space.

Much of the recent growth has come from market sectors, such as garden leisure, garden buildings and garden sundries, especially decorative features and paving

well with economic downturns and falls in consumer spending. This

O largely reflects the fact

that the majority of UK homes possess some kind of garden or outdoor space, as well as the fact that gardening is a popular and fairly inexpensive hobby for large segments of the population. Over the last few years, market performance has been underpinned by improving economic conditions as well as reasonable summer weather. Much of the recent growth has come from market sectors such as garden leisure, garden buildings and garden sundries, especially decorative features and paving. The latter sector in particular has benefited from growing consumer demand for more expensive items. In contrast, more restrained growth has been observed in sectors such as horticultural products and garden chemicals in recent years, mainly as a result of the slowdown in levels of GYO (grow your own) activity. Some of the factors


impacting on the total garden products market include:

verall, the retail market for garden and


products is fairly robust, and tends to cope reasonably

• Gardens are increasingly seen as an extension to the home, as a result of which consumers are more willing to spend available income on products which can make them more appealing.

• Increasing popularity of ‘al fresco’ dining in

the summer months

benefits a number of sectors – including garden furniture, barbecues, and decorative products such as paving and decking.

• Homeowners are staying outdoors for longer in the evenings and for a greater part of the year, partly as a result of developments in the heating and lighting sectors. Solar lighting in particular represents a key growth area.

• Greater interest in the use of artificial grass within the domestic sector creates a new niche sector that has the potential to boost market size as demand increases. Technological


which improve the quality of artificial grass are also expected to lead to increased sales.

• Increasingly time-pressured lifestyles mean that demand for garden equipment which can save time and effort continues to grow – particularly multi- functional products and power tools with cordless products now widely used.

28 APRIL 2017 DIY WEEK 7

• Almost all product sectors in this market are mature, with high household penetration levels. This leaves limited scope for significant market growth, as well as placing greater emphasis on upgrading and replacement products.

• Although a greater number of younger consumers are showing an interest in gardening, people within this demographic are far less likely to be homeowners. People living in rented accommodation spend considerably less on their gardens. The key distribution channels for garden products are the DIY multiples and garden centres, which account for a combined share of 63% by value in 2016. The internet is increasingly being used to source many products in this market. Growth in online sales of

gardening products have outpaced the overall garden products market by some distance in recent years. Between 2011 and 2015, online sales of garden products more than doubled, with the sector growing by an estimated 24% in 2015, and a further increase of 20% in 2016. Reasons for this growth has included the continued penetration of broadband internet services and mobile devices, the lower prices offered, as well as the expanding number of companies which now compete in the online sector. It is estimated that ‘non- specialist’

garden retailers such

as DIY multiples accounted for the majority share of internet garden sales in 2016. However, competition continues to grow within the overall category, as a number of grocery multiples and high street retailers have recently increased their presence

in the

market. The garden centres sector has been slower than others in adopting online sales platforms, but

this is now beginning to

change. In addition, there are a range of specialist online retailers in key sectors. Growth within the overall market

for garden products is likely to be fairly restrained in the medium term, while the internet sector, which is less mature, should see continued growth. By 2020, it is expected that the internet sector will account for over 18% of the total garden products distribution market.

Increasing popularity of ‘al fresco’ dining in the summer months benefits a number of garden sectors

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