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Garden Products Retailing - UK - June 2016

“Competition in garden retailing is intensifying as merger and acquisition activity is reshaping the specialist and DIY sectors, creating large multiple chains in an industry which as recently as 10 years ago was dominated by independent companies and small chains. The nature of specialist retailing is also changing with major garden specialists developing a broader offer in restaurants, clothing and housewares to attract customers year round. As well as generating extra revenues, these developments reduce specialists’ dependence on seasonal garden ranges. Meanwhile non-specialists are adding to their garden ranges, ambitious for a share of consumer spending.”
– Jane Westgarth, Senior Market Analyst

  • How can garden retailers embrace the trend to treat the garden as a room?
  • How can garden centres encourage people to visit more frequently? 
  • As smartphone ownership grows, how can garden retailers deliver suitable digital content to engage shoppers?

Garden retailing has been through a period of wide-ranging change and competition is intensifying. Wyevale, which has been growing through acquisition, tabled a bid for Tesco-owned Dobbies in April 2016, which at the time of writing is not finalised. The combined group would have 189 outlets, far larger than the next largest specialist, Klondyke which has 24 outlets. Garden specialists are continuing to evolve into destination stores for all seasons, developing restaurants and adding a broader range of merchandise including clothing, homewares and pet shops. This reduces their dependence on seasonal sales and the volatility of sales created by cold or wet weather over the key gardening seasons. The specialists are beginning to play catch-up with the rest of retailing and are developing online selling, adding new services such as click-and-collect and expanding their online choices. Online shopping is an important factor in the suite of services which consumers will expect.

Meanwhile in the DIY sector B&Q, the leading garden retailer in the UK, faces new direct challenges from Bunnings, which has bought Homebase and will change the group’s positioning and identity with greater focus on everyday great value. Elsewhere a broad range of other retailers are stepping up their efforts to serve the growing market for outdoor living. While Argos (recently purchased by Sainsbury’s) has been a market leader in durable garden goods, it faces stiff competition from the home sector, notably IKEA, Next, Dunelm, Wilko (Wilkinson) and the Range. The grocery multiples continue to serve a convenience role, carrying garden and outdoor living ranges in season, plus Waitrose is developing its Waitrose Garden offer, both online and at its stores.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Steady growth forecast until 2021
              • Figure 1: Consumer spending on garden products, 2011-21
            • Market segmentation
              • Figure 2: Garden market segmentation, broad segments, 2015(est)
            • 22.8 million UK gardens
              • 36% say gardening is a favourite pastime
                • Figure 3: Attitudes towards time at home, ‘Gardening is my favourite pastime’, by age, socio-economic group and tenure, November 2015
              • Volatility of demand affected by rainy days
                • Figure 4: UK average rainfall, mm, by month, 2013-15
              • 1.9 million more over-55s by 2020
                • Figure 5: Trends in the age structure of the UK population aged 15+, 2010-20
              • Companies and brands
                • Significant changes concentrating garden retailing
                  • Homebase taken over by Bunnings
                    • Supermarkets increase garden ranges
                      • Plenty of retailers address outdoor living
                        • Online retailing continues to develop
                          • Figure 6: Distribution of garden products, by type of retailer, 2015 (est)
                        • The consumer
                          • 88% of UK households have a garden, outside space or allotment
                            • Figure 7: Presence of gardens and allotments, April 2016
                          • 83% personally maintain their garden
                            • Gardening can be a shared activity
                              • Figure 8: Maintenance of gardens and allotments, others maintain, April 2016
                            • 47% of gardeners garden once a week
                              • Figure 9: Frequency of gardening, April 2016
                            • Confident gardeners are wealthier
                              • Figure 10: Confidence when gardening, April 2016
                            • 45% of people with gardens bought from B&Q
                              • Figure 11: Retailers used in the last 12 months for garden purchases, April 2016
                            • Staff knowledge and inspiring displays are the biggest influence on choice of where to shop
                              • Figure 12: Characteristics influencing choice of retailer for garden products, April 2016
                            • 81% agree their garden is a good place to relax
                              • Figure 13: Attitudes towards the garden or outside space, April 2016
                            • Three target groups for garden retailers
                              • Figure 14: Target groups for the garden, April 2016
                            • Garden as a Pleasant Pastime (50%)
                              • Garden as a Practical Environment (26%)
                                • Garden as Another Room (24%)
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • How can garden retailers embrace the trend to treat the garden as a room?
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • How can garden centres encourage people to visit more frequently?
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • As smartphone ownership grows, how can garden retailers deliver suitable digital content to engage shoppers?
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                      • Steady growth predicted for garden sales
                                                        • Diverse market with many elements
                                                          • Important to reduce reliance on seasonal markets
                                                            • Intense competition
                                                              • 1.9 million more over-55s by 2020
                                                              • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • Market to grow by 12.7% between 2016 and 2021
                                                                  • Figure 15: Consumer spend on garden products, 2011-21
                                                                  • Figure 16: Consumer spend on garden products, at current and constant prices, 2011-21
                                                                • Forecast methodology
                                                                • Market Segmentation

                                                                    • Figure 17: Garden market segmentation, broad segments, 2015 (est)
                                                                  • Reducing dependence on spring season
                                                                    • Trend to outdoor living
                                                                      • Demand for garden chemicals depends on prevailing conditions
                                                                        • Emerging trend for cordless and robot mowers
                                                                          • Garden building more stylish
                                                                            • Popularity of wild bird seed
                                                                              • Figure 18: Consumer spending on garden products, by market segment, 2011-16
                                                                          • Channels to Market

                                                                            • New competitive pressures
                                                                              • Figure 19: Distribution of garden products, by type of retailer, 2015 (est)
                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                              • Seasonal planting
                                                                                • Barbecue culture
                                                                                  • Garden chemicals
                                                                                    • Cordless and robot mowers
                                                                                      • Stylish garden buildings add useful living space at cheaper cost than an extension
                                                                                        • Wild birds
                                                                                          • Figure 20: The garden market, by segment, 2015 (est)
                                                                                        • Ownership of gardens
                                                                                          • Figure 21: Type of garden, April 2014
                                                                                        • Gardening as a favourite pastime
                                                                                          • Figure 22: Attitudes towards time at home, ‘Gardening is my favourite pastime’, by age, socio-economic group and tenure, November 2015
                                                                                        • Around 1 million allotments in the UK
                                                                                          • 61% say their garden is a good place for GYO
                                                                                            • Revamping the front garden
                                                                                              • Rainy days
                                                                                                • Figure 23: UK average rainfall, mm, by month, 2013-15
                                                                                              • 1.9 million more over-55s by 2020
                                                                                                • Figure 24: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2010-20
                                                                                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                              • Wyevale and Dobbies combined will be a sector giant
                                                                                                • Wyevale has been building profits
                                                                                                  • Garden centre outlet numbers
                                                                                                    • Trading online
                                                                                                      • Importance of in-store restaurants and cafés
                                                                                                        • Concession sales are building
                                                                                                          • Innovation in gardening
                                                                                                            • Investment in stores
                                                                                                            • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                              • Garden centre turnover
                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Garden centre operators, turnover (excl VAT), 2010-15
                                                                                                              • Profitability of garden centres
                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Garden centre operators, operating profits, 2010-15
                                                                                                              • Garden centre outlet numbers
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Garden centre operators, outlet numbers, 2012-16
                                                                                                              • Garden centre turnover per outlet
                                                                                                                • Figure 28: Garden centre operators, sales per outlet, 2011-15
                                                                                                              • Trading online
                                                                                                                • Figure 29: Garden centre operators, online activity, 2016
                                                                                                              • Importance of in-store restaurants and cafés
                                                                                                                • Figure 30: Garden centre operators, catering summary, 2016
                                                                                                              • Expanding the product mix
                                                                                                                • Figure 31: Examples of concessions featured at garden centres, 2016
                                                                                                            • Competitive Strategies

                                                                                                              • Major takeovers will affect competition
                                                                                                                • Wyevale’s takeover of Dobbies creates a huge garden chain
                                                                                                                  • Bunnings (Wesfarmers) buys Homebase shaking up the DIY sector
                                                                                                                    • B&Q awarded for sustainable retailing
                                                                                                                      • Convenient shopping at grocery stores
                                                                                                                        • Asda addresses affordable style
                                                                                                                          • C-stores carry bedding plants at the door
                                                                                                                            • Value grocers carry seasonal ranges
                                                                                                                              • Waitrose Garden in 260 supermarkets
                                                                                                                                • Retailers eager to embrace outdoor living
                                                                                                                                  • John Lewis focuses on outdoor living
                                                                                                                                    • Next Home & Garden now 10 stores
                                                                                                                                      • IKEA captures the essence of outdoor living for tiny gardens
                                                                                                                                        • Dunelm focuses on garden and conservatory furniture
                                                                                                                                          • Rise of the value retailers
                                                                                                                                            • Tiger – Budget stylish fun
                                                                                                                                              • Poundland launches new garden range
                                                                                                                                                • The Range carries a wide range of garden products
                                                                                                                                                  • Online retailing of gardening products is growing
                                                                                                                                                    • Concessions taking up more space at garden centres
                                                                                                                                                      • Digital activity
                                                                                                                                                        • Loyalty schemes
                                                                                                                                                          • Linking with celebrities and other trusted brands
                                                                                                                                                          • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                            • Control your garden with a smartphone
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 32: The LG Smart Garden, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                            • A plant that charges your phone
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 33: Bioo phone charger, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                            • Waitrose re-invents soil
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: Waitrose, Kado plant, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                            • Plants targeting smaller spaces
                                                                                                                                                              • Click & Collect
                                                                                                                                                                • Drive-in collection point
                                                                                                                                                                  • Biodegradable pots that add to point-of-sale impact
                                                                                                                                                                    • Gas power for fire pits
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Solus Decor fire table, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • Garden centre refurbishments
                                                                                                                                                                      • Café and restaurant additions
                                                                                                                                                                      • Space Allocation Summary

                                                                                                                                                                          • Garden centres space allocation overview
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 36: Dobbies, Reading, Wildlife Garden display, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Garden centres estimated outdoor space allocation, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                          • One-stop shopping destinations
                                                                                                                                                                            • Experiential customer experiences
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 38: Wyevale, Hillingdon, Buzzing Bakery, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Garden centres estimated indoor space allocation, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                            • Concessions and trading partners
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 40: Garden centres Estimated concession/trading partners split by percentage of total selling space, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                            • DIY retailers space allocation overview
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: DIY retailers estimated outdoor garden space allocation, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: DIY retailers estimated indoor garden space allocation, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: DIY retailers estimated non-garden – Garden space allocation split, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: DIY retailers estimated outdoor – Indoor garden space allocation split, May 2016
                                                                                                                                                                            • Detailed space allocation
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Garden products retailers detailed space allocation as a percentage of total floor space estimates, May 2015
                                                                                                                                                                          • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                                            • £40.6 million advertising in 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on garden products retailing, 2012-15
                                                                                                                                                                            • B&Q is the largest advertiser
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on garden products retailing, shares, 2015
                                                                                                                                                                            • Large retailers boosting spend
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Garden retailer advertising, 2012-15
                                                                                                                                                                            • Campaign specifics
                                                                                                                                                                              • Wyevale uses scrapbook images
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Wyevale, garden advertising, 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Dobbies features ‘your patch’
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Dobbies’ garden advert, Spring 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Dobbies’ Christmas advert 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Television and press dominate media
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on garden products retailing, by media type, 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • Embracing social media
                                                                                                                                                                                • Nielsen Media Research coverage
                                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                                  • 88% of UK households have a garden, outside space or allotment
                                                                                                                                                                                    • 83% of those with an outside space are gardeners
                                                                                                                                                                                      • 14% of gardeners are ‘extremely confident’
                                                                                                                                                                                        • B&Q used by 45% of people with gardens, allotments or an outside space
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Knowledgeable staff and displays that give ideas are the most influential factors
                                                                                                                                                                                            • People have very positive feelings about gardens and gardening
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Three key target groups for the garden
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Presence of Gardens and Allotments

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Village and suburban homes most likely to have a garden
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • 12% of UK homes do not have an outside space
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Private renters least likely to have an outside space
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Presence of gardens and allotments, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Maintenance of Gardens and Allotments

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • 83% of those with an outside space are gardeners
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Maintenance of gardens and allotments, personally maintain, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Engagement with garden services
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gardening is a sociable pastime
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Maintenance of gardens and allotments, others maintain, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • 47% of gardeners participate at least once a week in summer
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Frequency of gardening, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Over-55s garden most regularly
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Confidence when Gardening

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 14% of gardeners feel extremely confident
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Confidence when gardening, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Confident and fairly confident gardeners participate most regularly
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: Frequency of maintaining the garden, by confidence when gardening, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Where They Buy Things for the Garden

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • 76% of those with gardens purchased in the last year
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Repertoire of retailers used in the last 12 months for garden purchases, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • B&Q is the most used retailer for garden products
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Homebase has weakest coverage in the north of England
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Value retailers falling short in London
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Village/rural shoppers go to garden centres
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Wealthiest shoppers use B&Q and the big garden centres
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Internet used by 10% of those with gardens or an outside space
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Retailers used in the last 12 months for garden purchases, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Confidence affects choice of retailers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Retailers used in the last 12 months for garden purchases, by gardening confidence, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Rare gardeners go to B&Q
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Retailers used in the last 12 months for garden purchases, by frequency of gardening, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Characteristics that Influence Choice of Retailer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Staff knowledge is the most influential factor in where to shop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Inspirational displays influence 40%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Attracting families
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cafés are important to 23%
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • 25-44s value an informative website
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Other departments increase reasons to visit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 63: Characteristics influencing choice of retailer for garden products, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes towards the Garden

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 64: Attitudes towards the garden or outside space, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Three main target groups
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Target groups for the garden, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Target groups – Key characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Garden as a Pleasant Pastime (50%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Garden as a Practical Environment (26%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Garden as Another Room (24%)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Gardening confidence, by target groups, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Where the target groups shopped
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Retailers used for garden purchases, by target groups, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Attitudes towards the garden, by target groups, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Target groups for the garden, by confidence, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Retailers used in the last 12 months for garden purchases, by target groups, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 71: Characteristics influencing choice of retailer for garden products, by target groups, April 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Market sizing and segment performance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Forecast methodology

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Garden Products Retailing - UK - June 2016

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