Smith & Hawken going out of business

July 15, 2009

Upscale garden retailer Smith & Hawken will close all of its stores by the end of the year, including its Indianapolis location on River Crossing Boulevard near the Fashion Mall.

The Novato, Calif.-based company has 56 stores in 22 states and has been hit hard by the recession. Sales were down 22 percent during the first two quarters of the current fiscal year, according to financial statements.

Founded in 1979, Smith & Hawken has 700 employees nationwide. Its 3,600-square-foot Indianapolis location opened in 1995 as one of the chain’s first dozen or so stores. The store was among the first tenants to locate in The Shops at River Crossing.  

Ohio-based lawn and garden products giant Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. bought Smith & Hawken for about $70 million in 2004. Scotts said the company has not been profitable since it acquired it.

Scotts said in a statement that it would have preferred to sell the chain.

“However, after discussions with several potential investors over the past 12 months, it became obvious that shutting down the business was the best option available,” company CEO Jim Hagedorn said.

Scotts will pay about $25 million in lease terminations and severance payments to close the chain, it said.

The stores have started liquidation sales prior to closing.


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