Friday, October 10, 2014

Good weather boosts growth in the UK Garden Leisure market

The Domestic Garden Leisure market fell in value terms during 2012, but has since started to recover and was estimated to be worth over £500 million in 2013, reflecting an estimated growth of 12% compared to 2012. This estimate relates to domestic sales only and excludes the wider commercial market for garden furniture.

Expenditure on garden leisure products has been volatile in recent years due to a combination of key factors such as consumer confidence, the economic climate, and the weather. Positive drivers for the market include; good weather on bank holiday weekends, sporting events and the trend for greater utilisation of outdoor space.

The largest sector of the garden leisure market is garden furniture, which accounts for over 60% in 2013. Metal and plastic garden furniture have gained share at the expense of wood as consumers have moved away from traditional towards more contemporary styles. The plastic category has been boosted in recent years by the popularity of rattan style garden furniture made of all-weather materials.

The barbeque sector has benefited from the trend to trade up from charcoal to gas barbecues, the increasing interest in dining outside and added value from product development, with 2014 a good year for the sector. Own brands dominate this sector of the market accounting for an estimated 45-55% share.

Garden leisure products are increasingly sourced and manufactured abroad, particularly in the Far East and Eastern Europe. The main route to market for garden leisure products is through DIY multiples which dominate the market with over 40% market share.

However, garden centres are losing share in this sector, with the more recent trend towards greater internet sales continuing – both from specialists and general retailers. The garden centre market is dominated by a number of large national and regional groups and there has been some consolidation in this market which is expected to continue in the coming years.

Sales will always be subject to the impact of the weather which can cause wide fluctuations on an annual basis, but our estimates for the domestic garden leisure market for 2014 and beyond are for good underlying growth given continued improvement in the economy and favourable weather. The trend for outdoor dining and use of the garden for socialising has benefited the garden leisure market - and is likely to continue.

Other factors driving growth in the garden leisure market in the medium to long term include; a general interest in environmentally friendly products creating added value, continued media interest in the garden as an aspirational living space, continued product development and a trend towards higher quality/value products in both furniture and barbecues, though average prices for better quality products have fallen in real terms.

“Overall, the garden leisure sector is likely to remain a vibrant market, with plenty of suppliers and a wide range of products on offer.” said Andrew Hartley, Director of AMA Research. “Future product developments are likely to be driven by fashion, demographics and housing/garden styles and sizes, and the ageing population will result in more people having time to spend in the garden – with older age groups also more inclined to use barbecues than 15-20 years ago.”

The ‘Garden Leisure Market Report - 2014-2018 Analysis’ report is published by AMA Research, a leading provider of market research and consultancy services within the construction and home improvement markets. The report is available now and can be ordered online at or by calling 01242 235724.

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