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UK Landscape Barometer: December findings

All statistics are based on those surveyed and compare December 2021 to December 2020, with the exception of confidence; confidence is compared at the time of survey (February 2022) to the same time last year.

OVERALL PERFORMANCE year-on-year

Focusing on the trading month of December 2021, Christmas was on the way, Omicron was spreading, and the start of the winter season was upon us. Anecdotal evidence suggested there was a strong feeling of uncertainty about what the new year could bring as many expressed their deep concern for inflation and further pressure on the industry.

UK Landscape Barometer key highlights included:

  • National turnover increased by 25%
  • Enquiries increased by 13%
  • Projects increased by 19%
  • Conversion rates rose by 13%
  • Projects for commercial landscapers rose by 42%
  • Conversion rates for domestic landscapers increased by 30%

Domestic landscaping

Staff levels remained static, and average lead time for domestic landscapers was three months. Conversion rates increased by 30%, although 100% of domestic landscapes saw a decrease in enquiries (-30%).

Commercial landscaping

Commercial landscapers displayed another positive month, with an average increase of 50% in turnover, and a rise of 50% in enquiries too. Projects saw an increase of 42%, and conversion rates were up by 31%.

One participant explained: “The market is still variable, but hopefully with COVID-19 restrictions lifting local authorities will be more active with new schemes,” and another participant mentioned their mutual feeling, but concern for inflation to come.

Garden designers

Enquires for garden designers saw a significant decrease of -53%, and projects also decreased, by -3%. According to some respondents, after experiencing such high demand last year, things are continuing to settle down. One participant mentioned that new clients levels have now returned to more “normal” and “expected” levels.

Design and build

Design and build companies saw a decrease of -13% in turnover, and projects also saw a decrease of -13%. Nevertheless, enquires rose by an average of 4%, and conversion rates remained static. One participant said: “Unfortunately, the prices of some materials are still going through the roof. It is making costings look like you are trying to rip off clients.”

Nurseries and Soil suppliers

Turnover increased by 10% for nurseries, and quotes saw an increase of 13%. One respondent commented: “December was a busy month finishing off older work and getting lots of bare root planting done. New and potential clients usually take the Christmas break to consider our proposals so naturally December was a bit of a slower month for new work. But overall a good month.”

Soil suppliers were evenly split, with 50% experiencing an increase in quotes, and 50% seeing a decrease. On average, there was an increase of 39% in quotes, and a strong increase of 42% in turnover.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE UK LANDSCAPE BAROMETER FINDINGS

If you would like the full report or would like to contribute to the UK Landscape Barometer moving forward, please send an email to Gemma Lloyd on gemma.lloyd@eljays44.com or call on 01903 777 594.

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