Bye-bye Smith and Hawken….just too blooming bad!
July 14, 2009

Smith and Hawken says bye-bye in email.....

Smith and Hawken says bye-bye in email.....

I got a surprising, ok…kinda shocking, email this morning….you see it in the picture there….Smith and Hawken is going bye-bye. All 56 stores will close by the end of the year, and the company is no longer taking online or phone orders. No doubt a sign of the financial times, S&H was an upscale, gardening store that catered to those who loved to garden, and had the taste and money to indulge in their goods. There used to be a lovely store in Mt Washington Village, until a flood closed it, and they never came back. But I  cruised through their aisles at lunch, more times than I’d care to count, just to smell the rarified air and look at their beautiful products. Oh, they had good sales…and that was when I would buy things from S&H….and I’ve found many gifts there for others(and for myself) that I still love. And they carried excellent English made, gardening tools. Pricey, but well made and guaranteed for a lifetime.

lounging, sipping and flipping....

lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle....

What Smith and Hawken sold really, especially in the past 5 years or so…was lifestyle….a lovely, gracious, and expensive lifestyle….come on, who doesn’t want their back patio to look like on of  S&H’s?  You can just imagine yourself out there, lounging in the shade, sipping a glass of wine and flipping through the pages of a glossy magazine….can’t you? It’s  a lovely dream, anyway.

What happened to S&H? Chalk up another victim to the recession, at least in part….Here’s a link to an article  from the San Francisco area, which is where the company was based… about the whodunnit. One of the founders said when S&H was bought by Scott’s Miracle-Gro in 2004, it was the beginning of the end….here’s a quote from  Mr. Paul Hawken in the above article…”How could you possibly have a gardening store in this economy and go wrong?”  Hawken said. “I’ll tell you why. This wasn’t a gardening store anymore. Even though gardening and garden seeds are booming, all of a sudden you’re left with an image and a lot of products that real gardeners and real farmers don’t really need or want.”

Enough said….except for this…700 people will lose their jobs, and any way you look at it, that’s a bloomin’ shame. Look for deep discounts ahead if you live near one of their stores, as the company begins to liquify their stuff(where’s C-Mart when you need them?). But it makes me sad. I really loved that store…at least the store it used to be.

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