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According to Garden Equipment 2012, a new Market Report published by market intelligence provider Key Note, the industry showed growth of 2% in 2011, to be worth £893m. Its value has been rising year-on-year over the past 5 years and this pace has accelerated since the end of the recession in 2009. The primary drivers behind this phenomenon are Britain's growing interest in gardening, as well as innovation that makes the activity more enjoyable.
The gardening equipment industry has traditionally fluctuated in accordance with the economy. However, with gardening increasingly being viewed by the UK population as a fun pastime that is good for both health and the environment, the industry has now been able to defy this parallel. Moreover, the economic crisis and the fact that growing your own fruit and vegetables can save up to £200 a year have resulted in more and more consumers turning to gardening as a means of saving money. The development of more practical, lightweight tools has made gardening less tedious and more approachable.
Two important technological developments are important to the gardening equipment industry in the UK. The first is the lithium-ion battery, which has given gardeners flexibility and manoeuvrability, by allowing tools to be cordless and being transferable between tools. It also boasts greater durability, a lower cost and no memory effects, in comparison with other types of batteries. The second is phone 'apps'. With one in three Brits owning a smartphone and with it having become an important platform through which consumers conduct their daily activities, gardening equipment manufacturers and retailers have tapped into the technological revolution by introducing their own apps, in order to stay in touch with the times. Key Note expects phone apps be a key trend in the industry's future.
Key Note divides the market into lawnmowers, powered tools and equipment, hand tools and water management systems; the latter two categories experienced the strongest growth of 3.2% in 2011. Key Note attributes such growth in the hand tools sector to the rise of amateur gardeners, who are tackling the economic downturn by growing small plots of food. Hand tools are cheaper and more suitable for smaller gardens, especially for consumers living in cities. Future growth in this segment is anticipated well into 2012 and beyond.
However, market struggles amid the economic downturn should not be ignored or belittled. The closure of Focus DIY in 2011 is evidence of this. Key Note deems that the best strategy garden equipment manufacturers and retailers can adopt to help and ensure continued growth is to support the British interest in gardening through campaigns that raise awareness and to get involved in communities through gardening initiatives, as well as DIY Kits that facilitate and promote the activity. Based on the current market and trends, Key Note anticipates that the gardening equipment industry will be worth £1.04bn in 2016.
Press enquiries: Jack Sykes at Key Note at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0845 504 0452. Press/review copies of the report are available on request.