Miracle-Gro may be good for the garden, but it's been poisonous for gardening store Smith & Hawken.
Ohio-based parent company Scotts Miracle-Gro announced on Wednesday that it will shut down Smith & Hawken nearly 30 years after the garden tool retailer opened its first store in Mill Valley.
All 56 of Smith & Hawken's brick-and-mortar stores will close by the end of the year. The online store will also shut down, and some 700 employees will lose their jobs, including 70 at the company's headquarters in Novato.
The move came after Scotts was unable to find a buyer for the company, whose sales dropped 22 percent in the first two quarters of the fiscal year.
An employee at the Smith & Hawken in Roseville who asked not to be named said that the Bay Area locations would probably close first, sending their products to sites with lower rent and more storage space.
"It's been a big shock," he said.
But not everyone is upset about the news, including Smith & Hawken's founders. The San Jose Mercury News reported that Dave Smith and Paul Hawken were relieved by the announcement, stating that "Scotts couldn't have been a worse corporate owner."
Smith said he asked friends not to shop there after Scotts purchased the company in 2004.