The grass isn't greener.

Garden centre gloom

Published:  15 April, 2010

UK: B&Q, Wickes, Homebase, and Focus DIY are downbeat on 2010 prospects citing electoral and economic uncertainty and poor weather as reasons to be cautious.

Ian Cheshire, chief executive Kingfisher speaking to Retail Week magazine, said: "We are not assuming any help from the market. We are very cautious. Gardens are four to six weeks behind. People are holding back. They have not been spending."

Geoff Cooper, chief executive of Travis Perkins said: "Forecasting is even more difficult now than it was in 2009, with the prospect of an election which is getting ever harder to call."

Paul Loft, managing director of Homebase said: "It is very difficult to call – fuel bills are coming in, there is debt carried over from Christmas, a change in government, taxes going up, VAT possibly going up and unemployment."

Bill Grimsey chief executive of Focus said: "Since the snow left, temperatures have been very low. The gardening season has not kicked off – the grass has barely started to shoot."

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