Linder's Greenhouses, a landmark St. Paul garden center in business for more than a century, is closing.
The company is a victim of a weak economy, relentless price competition from big box retailers and the weather, which devastated sales this past spring, President Dave Linder said. The customer base is also shrinking as baby boomers retire to apartments and give up gardening, he added.
"April was horrendous; May, not much better. And those are our two primary months to sell our products," Linder said. "It really put the final nail in our coffin."
Linder's ran a retail store and greenhouse operation on Larpenteur Avenue, production greenhouses in Lake Elmo, Minn., and some 50 seasonal flower marts that operated primarily in the parking lots of area grocers.
The company had about 50 full-time and more than 900 part-time or seasonal employees. Most employees have already been laid off.