Garden centre retail sales fell by 18.2% in April compared with the previous year.
Consumer spending overall grew by 3.4%, as the UK saw a modest recovery from the ‘Beast from the East’. Despite this garden centres saw no increase in sales from the improved weather, with credit card company Barclaycard reporting a “rebound in spending as shoppers ventured back outside after March’s cold snap”.
Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard, said: “While spending has recovered slightly from the effects of the ‘Beast from the East’, it’s likely we’ve seen some missing expenditure from March carry over to April as the weather finally allowed shoppers to venture back outside.”
He added: “Consumers prioritised spending on the ‘nice-to-haves’ last month, but there’s no indication that they are looking to loosen the purse strings quite yet. Instead, the UK seems to be caught in a holding pattern, with people still budgeting carefully.
“Looking ahead, uncertainty around interest rates is weighing on the minds of many, with people prepared to cut back on non-essentials in order to cope with a rate rise.”