March is typically peak garden furniture buying season. However, this year as many retailers dropped their collections early in February you might have noticed a significant hike in garden furniture prices compared to 2021.
The cost of living crisis in the UK has seen prices across the board rising, including the best garden furniture. Gina Hinde, marketing manager at the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association (LOFA), told Ideal Home that garden furniture prices be higher this year than in early 2021 due to increased shipping container costs and raw materials.
Why are garden furniture prices increasing?
‘In 2019 and before that, all container prices were around the $1200 mark,’ says Gina. ‘They were up to $20,000 last year, they’re now peetering out at around about the $12,000 mark. But that is still about $10,000 more than they used to be. That is the primary reason for the rising cost.’
Outdoor living, a garden retailer based in the northwest of England, told Ideal Home that because they could usually only fit 50 units in a container, the cost per unit shipping price has rocketed from £50 in 2020 to £350. A cost that they had to pass on in part to the customer.
While Gina is optimistic that we won’t see any more significant prices hikes as shipping container price increases are starting to level out. Martin Young from Sitting Spiritually of Lyme Regis, a wooden furniture maker, warns that raw material prices are also putting pressure on prices.
He says his company is being forced to review prices regularly as they have been warned by timber suppliers of impending price increases: ‘We are being advised by all of our timber suppliers across the globe of impending price increases,’ says Martin. ‘With that in mind, we’re having to review our prices every 6 months.
‘Our customers are becoming quite ‘conditioned’ to price rises, particularly as they’re seeing it in the general cost of living. The impending gas cost rise is a great example of that. We do our utmost to hold out our prices, but we can only do it for so long.’
How much are garden furniture prices going up by 2022?
It is hard to say as it varies between retailers. Inflation in the UK is 5 per cent, however, Ideal Home has found that many fan favourite garden furniture deals from last year have increased by more than the rate of inflation. For example, both the sellout Aldi egg chair and B&M egg chairs, whilst still the cheapest on the market, both had increased significantly in price in February 2022 compared to the same time in 2021.
Ideal Home analysed archived pages from B&M and Aldi in 2021. We found that the Aldi egg chair had increased by 26 per cent, from £149.99 in 2021 to £189.99 in 2022. While the price of the B&M Siena egg chair had increased by 28.6 per cent, from £175 in 2021 to £225 in 2022.
Ideal Home contacted B&M and Aldi for comment on why the price of these two items had increased, B&M and Aldi did not respond. However, when asked about the general increase in garden furniture special buys an Aldi spokesperson said: ‘Our incredibly efficient business model enables us to protect our customers from industry-wide inflationary pressures as much as we can. That is why shoppers will always find high-quality products at the lowest prices at Aldi, whether they are buying our fantastic garden furniture or stocking up on their weekly groceries.’