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Garden.com Shuts Down

Garden.com on Wednesday said it will begin a phased shut-down while it pursues the sale of its assets, including remaining inventory and its URL.

Shares of the Internet-based garden products retailer were down over 35 percent in Wednesday trading. The stock's all-time high is $15.

The company, founded in December of 1995, said it will conduct "a phased layoff" of its consumer business employee base and will conduct a "going out of business" product inventory sale to consumers. NASDAQ halted trading after the announcement.

Garden.com cut 30 percent of its work force, or about 95 jobs, in late September in an effort to reduce the burn rate. But it just wasn't enough.

The dot com said it made "extensive and comprehensive efforts to find strategic alternatives," including the sale of the company, to no avail.

"I deeply regret that Garden.com is unable to see through the vision we started nearly five years ago," said Cliff Sharples, president and CEO of Garden.com. "Despite every best effort by the company and its management to rebuild stockholder value and ensure a future for Garden.com's consumer business, all possible avenues have been exhausted and it is clear that the only course of action available to us is to conduct a staged shut-down of our retail operations."

"My co-founders and team continue to believe in the power of the Internet to fundamentally create unique and distinct value for all consumers," he continued in a statement. "I am deeply saddened to see the most talented, dedicated, hard-working team I have ever had the pleasure to work with be disbanded."

The company said it will sell its product inventory, URLs, content, photo library, its popular online gardening tools such as Landscape Planner and Plant Finder, as well as other intellectual property.

On Monday the company reported a first quarter net loss of $9.9 million, or $0.56 per share, compared to a net loss of $5.6 million, or $1.45 per share, for the same period in the prior year.