As we have discussed before Hines Nurseries a leading national supplier of ornamental shrubs, color plants and container-grown plants is having financial hick-ups. We now learn from Green Beam that â€œHines received notice from Nasdaq that it could be delisted for not filing its 2006 annual report on time. According to the Nasdaq Staff Determination Letter, Hines is subject to delisting from the Nasdaq Global Market unless Hines requests a hearing. Hines issued a release March 27 that it was delaying the release of the financial information pending the completion of an audit. Hines stated it would get current in its filings as soon as feasible.â€
As we talked about before â€œHines, Color Spot, and other nurseries that have sold their souls to the chains are going to see further 'significant price pressures' as we move forward. I predict that some of these wholesale vendors are going to be sniffing around independent garden centers to see if they can pick up some business.â€ Of course that is the whole idea behind Scotts/Miracle Gro CEO Jim Hagedorn saying â€œJim Cares about Independentsâ€ ad that shows up in various trade magazines we receive. Scotts sees the writing on the wall and realizes they canâ€™t support the growth necessary by simply selling to the chains. The problem is they didnâ€™t care about us independents before. The ad campaign is so obvious in its patronage of independents now that it just doesnâ€™t ring true.
These large horticultural concerns are so worried about the changing marketplace that they go after the very independent business they claim to support. Why would they go after a small fertilizer company with a infinitesimal share of the market? Fear.