What our data tells us: How being stuck indoors has boosted garden investment

Consumer behaviour changed near enough overnight when the UK lockdown was announced in March. With bar crawls, shopping centres and holidays abroad temporarily off the table, we saw a boom in sales across a number of industries for our retail partners.


We found that being stuck at home all day led many to spending more time in their gardens, and the realisation that ‘we could do with making some improvements here’. And, as such, the number of consumers making purchases to improve their gardens has grown dramatically when compared with the same period last year, along with the newfound outdoor hobbyists.


Here are the top garden investments that we’ve tracked:


  1. The grass could always be greener

Likely due to the hot weather that we saw at the start of the lockdown, the money saved from holidays we couldn’t take, or more time to spend on tasks that had been put off, we saw many consumers invest in the grassy areas of their gardens. In fact, artificial grass sales were through the roof!


Our in-house analysts found that between March and the end of June 2020, we saw a year-on-year (YoY) increase in sales of artificial grass by 1062%*. This averages a daily spend increase of £6,170 – a very impressive upturn.


  1. A slice of Italy in UK gardens

It’s not just our homes we want to maintain and improve, but ourselves, too. If our hobbies required leaving the house then that was (and, for some, is still) off the cards. So, consumers have been finding new ways to entertain themselves.


For example, by making pizza.


Since lockdown began (up until 28th June), we have seen a YoY increase in sales for outdoor pizza ovens of 427%, an average daily spend increase of £1,102. With all the newcomers to the pizza-making scene, Pizza Express might have some new competition once lockdown ends.


  1. Some outdoor entertainment

While the adults are making pizza, the children need something to keep themselves entertained – this is why outdoor toys have excelled. In this case, ‘outdoor toys’ don’t account for items like footballs or hula-hoops, but retailers who stock climbing frames, mud kitchens and ride-on toys. The big outdoor items.


In this market, the YoY increase of sales was 83% from March to the end of June, an average daily spend increase of £282.


A spanner in the works

Each year, we in the retail industry try to predict what’s going to happen in the year ahead – what new technology will come out disrupting the industry, how consumer demands will change, and so on. However, no one and no data could have accurately predicted what was going to happen this year, and just how retail or consumer finances would be impacted.


Despite this, we’ve been able to help our retailer partners and consumers manage the unpredictable. Through our interest free credit solution, consumers have been able to split up payments into manageable chunks for products that are based on their new lockdown priorities. And we’re proud to see their gardens grow as a result.


If you think it’s time for a garden overhaul, or really feel like making some classic Neapolitan pizzas, then consider checking out many of our retailer partners for more affordable ways to invest in your garden.


* Some of this growth can be accredited to the inclusion of our new retail partner, Grass Warehouse, in the 2020 data. However, we have used proportionality to share a more accurate YoY comparison.

Page last updated: 08 September 2021

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