Sad Ending for Smith & Hawken

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. is Pulling the Plug on Smith & Hawken. The catalog and Website of the high-end home and garden merchant stopped taking orders July 9; all 56 stores will be shuttered by the end of this year.

Founded in 1979 by Dave Smith and Paul Hawken, Smith & Hawken was sold to the CML Group in 1993. The cataloger/retailer was then bought by private equity firm DDJ Capital Management in 1999; Scotts purchased it from DDJ Capital in 2004.

Robert Passikoff, president/founder of brand consultancy Brand Keys, says Smith & Hawken’s high level of brand differentiation normally would be good for Scotts.

“But Smith & Hawken’s losses were getting worse, and there was no end in site,” Passikoff says. “In this economy, expensive outdoor furniture is the last thing on many consumers’ minds.”