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UK Garden Products Retailing market report

“2017 promises to be a year of significant change for garden retailing. Bunnings, B&M and Wilko will emphasise everyday low prices, while B&Q will play to its strengths as a place where novice gardeners can get something to cheer up their plots easily. Meanwhile the garden centres will continue to raise their game as leisure destinations, while maintaining a specialist presence as a destination for good choice and quality. The popularity of garden leisure will continue to encourage home and general retailers to intensify competition for market share of furniture, barbecues and garden décor goods.”
– Jane Westgarth, Senior Retail Analyst

This Report discusses the following key topics:

  • Is the shopper ready to buy more garden products online? 
  • Will value become a key marketing message in garden retailing?
  • Restaurants are one of the most important developments a garden centre can make

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

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

          • The market
            • Consumer spending +5.8% in 2016
              • Figure 1: Consumer spending on garden products, 2011-21
            • Diverse market with many elements
              • Figure 2: Garden market segmentation, broad segments, 2016 (est)
            • 1 million more aged 65+ between 2016-21
              • Rainy days are bad for business
                • Companies and brands
                  • Online sales of garden goods are growing
                    • Figure 3: Distribution of garden products, by type of retailer, 2017 (est)
                  • Acquisition has driven growth of the chains
                    • Wyevale is the largest garden centre chain
                      • Figure 4: Specialist garden centres, turnover, 2011-15
                    • Changes in the DIY sector will put more pressure on price
                      • Argos will benefit from relationship with its new owner, Sainsbury’s
                        • Importance of in-store restaurants and cafés
                          • The consumer
                            • 49% improved their gardens in 2016
                              • Figure 5: Garden projects and improvements, March 2017
                            • 67% of households with a garden or outside space bought gardening goods
                              • Figure 6: Purchases for the garden, March 2017
                            • In-store shopping is firm favourite for gardening goods
                              • B&Q (42%) is the most-used retailer for gardening goods
                                • Figure 7: Retailers used for gardening goods, March 2017
                              • B&Q, Argos and the supermarkets are most-used for garden furniture/décor
                                • Figure 8: Retailers used for garden furniture and décor, March 2016
                              • Staff knowledge and inspirational displays are key competitive factors for garden retailers
                                • Vital to be online
                                  • Figure 9: Factors influencing choice of retailer for garden products, March 2017
                                • Gardens are spaces for relaxing and entertaining guests
                                  • Figure 10: Attitudes regarding the garden, March 2017
                                • What we think
                                • Issues and Insights

                                  • Is the shopper ready to buy more garden products online?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • Will value become a key marketing message in garden retailing?
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • Restaurants are one of the most important developments a garden centre can make
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Consumer spending +5.8% in 2016
                                                      • Diverse market with many elements
                                                        • Garden centres account for 31% market share
                                                          • 36% of adults agree that gardening is one of their favourite pastimes
                                                            • Rainy days are bad for business
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                              • 22% growth forecast during 2016-21
                                                                • Figure 11: Consumer spending on garden products, 2011-21
                                                              • 17% growth at constant 2016 prices over 2016-21
                                                                • Figure 12: Consumer spending on garden products, 2011-21
                                                              • Economic pressures can lead to more leisure time at home
                                                                • Inflation stoked by weakness of sterling
                                                                  • Forecast methodology
                                                                  • Market Segmentation

                                                                    • Garden plants are 30% of the market
                                                                      • Figure 13: Garden market segmentation, broad segments, 2016 (est)
                                                                    • Reducing dependence on the spring season
                                                                      • Improving point of sale presentation
                                                                        • Convenience gardening
                                                                          • Grow your own benefits from healthy eating and bloke culture
                                                                            • Trend to outdoor living
                                                                              • Demand for garden chemicals depends on prevailing conditions
                                                                                • Emerging trend for cordless and robot mowers
                                                                                  • Stylish garden buildings
                                                                                    • Encouraging birds and insects
                                                                                      • Figure 14: Consumer spending on garden products, by market segment, 2013-16 (est)
                                                                                  • Channels to Market

                                                                                    • Garden centres most important sector
                                                                                      • Garden centres must be destination retailers for plants
                                                                                        • Supermarkets capitalise on seasonal impulse sales
                                                                                          • Price becomes a new battle ground as Bunnings replaces Homebase
                                                                                            • Amazon and Tesco have eyes on Argos’s market share
                                                                                              • Figure 15: Distribution of garden products, by type of retailer, 2017 (est)
                                                                                          • Market Drivers

                                                                                            • 36% of all agree that gardening is one of their favourite pastimes.
                                                                                              • Figure 16: Attitudes towards time at home, ‘Gardening is one of my favourite pastimes’, by age, socio-economic group and tenure, November 2016
                                                                                            • Rainy days deter gardeners
                                                                                              • Figure 17: UK average annual rainfall, mm, 2011-16
                                                                                            • Online accounts for 17% of sales by value
                                                                                              • Gardening as therapy
                                                                                                • One million more people aged 65+ by 2021
                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2011-21
                                                                                                • Interest in organic foods and clean eating illustrate potential for GYO
                                                                                                  • Around 1 million allotments in the UK
                                                                                                    • Front gardens have potential for more planting
                                                                                                      • TV gardening inspires shoppers
                                                                                                      • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                        • Acquisition has driven growth of the garden chains
                                                                                                          • Wyevale is the largest garden centre chain
                                                                                                            • Significant investment in restaurants and expansion of ranges
                                                                                                              • Competition in the sector intensifies
                                                                                                                • Argos will benefit from relationship with its new owner, Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                                  • Online activity will continue to develop
                                                                                                                    • Importance of in-store restaurants and cafés
                                                                                                                    • Companies and Brands

                                                                                                                      • Concentration of the garden centre sector
                                                                                                                        • Figure 19: Garden centre operators, turnover (excluding VAT), 2011-16
                                                                                                                      • Wyevale achieves the highest profit increase
                                                                                                                        • Figure 20: Garden centre operators, operating profits, 2011-16
                                                                                                                      • Growth in store numbers driven by acquisition
                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Garden centre operators, outlet numbers, 2011-16
                                                                                                                      • Other major garden operators
                                                                                                                        • Trading online
                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: Garden centre operators, online activity, 2017
                                                                                                                        • Importance of in-store restaurants and cafés
                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Garden centre operators, catering summary, 2017
                                                                                                                        • Expanding the product mix
                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Examples of concessions featured at garden centres, 2016
                                                                                                                        • Buying groups
                                                                                                                        • Competitive Strategies

                                                                                                                          • Bunnings begins its rollout in the UK
                                                                                                                            • Argos/Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                                              • Supermarkets intensify competition for garden goods
                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Waitrose garden, 2017
                                                                                                                              • Retailers eager to embrace outdoor living
                                                                                                                                • B&M now has over 100 garden centres
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: B&M Garden, 2017
                                                                                                                                • Rise of the value retailers
                                                                                                                                  • Dobbies to become ‘The Best in Sector’
                                                                                                                                    • Customers expect a multi-channel shopping journey
                                                                                                                                      • Importance of the planteria
                                                                                                                                        • Careful market positioning strategies
                                                                                                                                          • Loyalty schemes
                                                                                                                                            • Play areas at garden centres
                                                                                                                                            • Space Allocation Summary

                                                                                                                                                • Garden centres outdoor space allocation overview
                                                                                                                                                  • Low maintenance garden ideas
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 27: Wyevale Garden Centre, Harrow, Low Maintenance Garden, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Garden centres estimated outdoor garden space allocation, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                  • Garden centres indoor space allocation overview
                                                                                                                                                    • New-look restaurants and cafés
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Notcutts, Staines, The Kitchen restaurant, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • Houseplants a key focus for Wyevale in 2017
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Garden centres estimated indoor garden space allocation, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                    • DIY retailers outdoor space allocation overview
                                                                                                                                                      • Showcasing new outdoor products
                                                                                                                                                        • Live gardening demonstrations
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: DIY retailers estimated outdoor garden space allocation, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                        • DIY retailers indoor space allocation overview
                                                                                                                                                          • Bunnings Warehouse upping the ante in the garden retail market
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: DIY retailers estimated indoor garden space allocation, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                          • Detailed space allocation
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Garden products retailers estimated detailed space allocation as a percentage of total floor space, May 2017
                                                                                                                                                        • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                                                                          • Rethinking the plant pot
                                                                                                                                                            • Developing a plant for tiny gardens (and for fun)
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 34: ‘Ketchup and chips’ by Thompson & Morgan, 2017
                                                                                                                                                            • Ditching Latin names
                                                                                                                                                              • A watering system that can be controlled via an app
                                                                                                                                                                • A two-storey garden centre
                                                                                                                                                                  • Plant hotels
                                                                                                                                                                  • Advertising and Marketing Activity

                                                                                                                                                                    • Advertising spend remains steady
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on garden products and retailing, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                    • Multiple retailers dominate advertising
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 36: Total above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on garden products retailing, shares, 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • B&Q boosted spending in 2016
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 37: Advertising garden products and retailers, 2013-16
                                                                                                                                                                    • Campaign specifics
                                                                                                                                                                      • B&Q’s 2017 campaign features an easy garden transformation
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: B&Q television advert, 2017
                                                                                                                                                                      • Wyevale emphasises ‘your garden’
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Wyevale emphasises ‘your garden’, 2016
                                                                                                                                                                      • Television and press dominate media
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Above-the line, online display and direct mail advertising expenditure on garden products retailing, by media type, 2016
                                                                                                                                                                      • Embracing social media
                                                                                                                                                                        • Nielsen Ad Intel coverage
                                                                                                                                                                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                                          • 87% has a garden or outside space
                                                                                                                                                                            • High level of engagement with garden projects
                                                                                                                                                                              • 67% bought gardening goods in the last year
                                                                                                                                                                                • Stores remain popular for plants and gardening sundries
                                                                                                                                                                                  • B&Q is, by far, the most used retailer for gardening
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Broader range of competitors for garden leisure goods
                                                                                                                                                                                      • People want knowledgeable staff and inspiration
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Younger people eat in the garden, older ones enjoy gardening as a pastime
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Presence of Gardens, Balconies and Allotments

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Village and suburban homes most likely to have a garden
                                                                                                                                                                                            • 13% of UK homes do not have an outside space
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Presence of gardens, balconies and allotments, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                            • ABs most likely to have an allotment
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 42: Presence of gardens, balconies and allotments, by age and socio-economic group, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Private renters least likely to have an outside space
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 43: Presence of gardens, balconies and allotments, by household tenure, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Garden Projects and Improvements

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Home owners with a mortgage most active garden improvers
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Garden projects and improvements, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Wide range of different garden improvements
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Garden projects and improvements, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Purchases for the Garden

                                                                                                                                                                                            • 67% bought gardening goods in the last year
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Leisure items capture a younger audience
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Purchases for the garden, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Purchasing varies by tenure
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Purchases for the garden, by tenure, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                            • In-store or Online Shopping for Gardening Goods

                                                                                                                                                                                              • In-store shopping is the most used channel for gardening goods (plants, tools and seeds)
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: In-store or online shopping for gardening goods, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Retailers Used for Gardening Goods

                                                                                                                                                                                              • B&Q stands out as the most-used retailer
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Garden centres remain strong
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Specialist internet sales popular with older shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Retailers used for gardening goods, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                • In-store or Online Shopping for Garden Furniture, Barbecues and Décor

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Online is more popular for garden leisure goods than for gardening goods
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: In-store or online shopping for garden furniture, barbecues and décor, March 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Retailers Used for Garden Furniture, Barbecues and Décor

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Competitive scene for garden leisure goods
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Value retailers are widely used
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Retailers used for garden furniture and décor, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Factors Influencing Choice of Retailer for Garden Products

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Staff knowledge is the most influential factor in where to shop
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Inspirational displays influence 31%
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cafés attract older shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Vital to be online
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Attracting families
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Factors influencing choice of retailer for garden products, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes Regarding the Garden

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • The garden has positive associations for most shoppers
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Consumers aged 65+ most likely to find gardening rewarding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Enjoying the garden as an outdoor room
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Wealthier customers entertain in the garden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Attitudes regarding the garden, March 2017
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

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

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology