Smith & Hawken Facing Liquidation

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. has not found a buyer for its struggling Smith & Hawken division, and may be liquidating the high-end home and garden merchant by week’s end.

According to a report by Reuters, liquidation specialist Gordon Brothers is at Smith & Hawken’s Novato, CA headquarters awaiting the go-ahead to commence going-out-of-business sales at Smith & Hawken’s 57 retail locations.

Scotts said in its 2008 annual report, filed in November, it was struggling to find a buyer for Smith & Hawken, as the “current market conditions are not advantageous.”

Sales for Smith & Hawken for the year ended Sept. 30 decreased 14% to $158.6 million, Scotts reported.

The merchant’s first quarter sales were $31.9 million, down 23% from $41.3 million the prior year due primarily to a sharp decline in holiday sales. Its second quarter sales were $19.3 million, down 22% from the same quarter a year before.

In addition to its retail stores, Smith & Hawken sells its products through its catalogs, e-commerce, and through other trade and wholesale relationships.

Scotts acquired smith & Hawken in October 2004 for $74.9 million from a private equity group.