May and June have come and signalled a change in season in the Northern hemisphere, the winter months are over, and spring has sprung, with summer on the way. How important is the gardening, garden projects, and outdoor living to the home improvement and DIY market? And what can be done to make the most of its potential?
Outdoor trends for spring-summer 2022
In the last two years, garden equipment sales in Germany were up by 25 per cent, and garden furniture by 21.4 per cent. Although this amount of growth is unlikely to be seen this year, targeting the right trends and consumers can ensure a potential market dip is not too steep.
Terrace and outdoor furniture may not achieve the same sales boom as the last two years, as some market saturation will have taken place, however, selling garden furniture made from natural fibres would help tie this category into the sustainable living sector. Furthermore, barbecues, especially for terraces and balconies, continue to be popular.
Another category that has seen growth in recent years, and is likely to see more, is “Urban Gardening” – the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around urban areas. Creating “Urban Jungles” is a trend especially popular amongst the social media generations and millennials. Collaborating with influencers and tracking the newest trends in these “Urban Jungles” will ensure younger generations continue to enter your store; and presenting them with sustainable and attractive products is certain to drive transactions.
A trend that was seen in the last two years, particularly due to the restriction of travel and people having “staycations”, was a huge demand for garden pools, with waiting lists growing into 2022 and new trends in pool design developing more frequently. Fluidra, the world’s largest swimming pool equipment maker, ran out of stock and production capacity for the year in May 2020 for its above-ground pools, and sales of easy-to-build pools by Leroy Merlin in Spain soared more than 200% in the first six months of 2020.
Importance of Green Living
The green sector in the world of DIY is of key importance to several international chains and players. For example, in 2021, 17.1% of the Home Depot’s total net sales came from the indoor and outdoor garden sector, and for Hornbach the Garden Hardware/Plants division contributed to around one fifth of consolidated sales in 2021. Considering that these types of product categories are, in most countries, seasonal, it is clear to see how essential these categories are to some retailers in supporting their annual sales.
The trend is not only seen in retailers, but also in suppliers. In the UK sales in seeds and bulbs were up 17.22% in 2021 compared to 2020 and 23.54% up on 2019. Moreover, the global barbecue and grill Market, which was worth $7.96 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $10.38 billion in 2025. This expected growth has been partly attributed to a desire to take up new activities in lockdowns, as well as an increasing demand to be outdoors and people cooking more at home.
How to take advantage of summer gardening and do-it-yourself trends
As is always the case, keeping up with the trends in gardening and targeting these is key to ensuring a good return on investment. Furthermore, and especially the case for new gardeners, educating these customers how to care for the gardens in summer and design outdoor gardens is also essential, with some companies, such as GARDENA, offering free online garden planners.
Demonstrating and promoting the fact that an outdoor space can act as an extension of the indoor space is also key. The last two years have seen a huge uptake in working from home, which is predicted to be here to stay. Demonstrating that these home offices and areas of relaxation can be located outside, and promoting how to design these, can help tap into this market and also target larger home improvement projects.
Analysists predict this sector of outdoor living to continue to grow in the coming years, following the catalyst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Presenting the correct product groups, following trends and marketing these in the correct way, whilst focusing on personalization and individualized shopping experience, can help tap into this market and ensure that the garden sector continues to flourish.