Traditional high street or out-of-town home and garden centres are beholden to two seasonal windows for the majority of their trade. Between April and May is the optimum time, when customers are seeking to improve their outdoor spaces with new flowers, plants and garden ornaments. Early autumn is the second season, although this is less important.
Both of these seasons account for nearly half of an average garden centre’s turnover, according to most retailers. The rest of the year is relatively dead, as potential customers are either enjoying their new garden statues, fountains and other features, or huddled inside out of the weather. Despite this, traditional garden centres have to keep operating their premises and paying for overheads such as lighting and heating, not to mention staff costs.
This is one of the reasons why customers are increasingly finding that online retailers of plants and garden ornaments have the edge over their high street rivals. Not only are they able to offer lower prices than their counterparts, due to far fewer overheads, these reduced overheads mean that they can keep operating all the year round without fearing the quieter periods of the year.