Goodbye Buys: 8 Stores, Brands You Miss

Plant buffs across the country are mourning the demise of a major garden retailer, Smith & Hawken.

The 30-year-old chain's parent company, Scotts Miracle-Gro, recently announced it would shutter all 56 Smith & Hawken stores in 22 states.

"The feeling is one of sadness that something that offers such reliable quality in terms of gardening tools and gardening accessories is no longer able to make it in today's economy," said Heidi Hesselein, of Allentown, N.J.

Will you miss Smith & Hawken? Are there other stores and brands that you miss? Tell ABC News

Hesselein, who runs a wholesale nursery, said that many of her customers share the sentiment.

"Walking into their store is a little bit like a going to a public garden, because of the number of things they have add depth and color to gardening peoples' lives," she said.

CEO Jim Hagedorn said in a written statement that the company decided to close the stores after finding that "the combination of a weak economy and the lack of scale proved too great to overcome."

Smith & Hawken customers are among the latest to watch their favorite stores and brands bite the dust.

As the recession continues to challenge American businesses, many aren't surviving -- more than 43,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy in 2008, up 54 percent from the year before, according to the Federal Judiciary -- and that's bringing a different kind of stress to American consumers, said Lars Perner, an assistant professor for clinical marketing at the University of Southern California.

"You have the recession going on, and this is just one more thing that makes it harder to bear," Perner recently told ABCNews.com.

Perner said that consumers' attachments to businesses can range from the practical -- they appreciated low prices or convenient locations -- to the nostalgic.

For instance, he said, "I imagine it could be a little disillusioning if the place where you bought your wedding ring went out of business."

ABCNews.com readers across the country shared a range of reflections on the closure of some of their favorite companies. For Kathryn Katz, the closure of a Bennigan's restaurant, her favorite neighborhood "watering hole," evoked feelings so strong, she put them into verse.

"Eating out is no longer the same without my friends/At Bennigan's," Katz wrote in a 16-line poem she sent to ABCNews.com. (Read Katz's full poem here.)

Certain stores and brands drew stronger reactions than others. For more of what readers like Katz had to say, see the next page.

Pontiac

Automaker General Motors announced in April that it would phase out its Pontiac brand next year. GM introduced the brand, known for its Firebird, Trans Am and Grand Prix models, among others, in 1926. Some ABCNews.com readers told us they have long, personal histories with the Pontiac brand.

"I got to help my dad pick out a Bonneville the one year (1963) we lived in West Palm Beach, Florida. I was in fourth grade and we needed a car so Dad and I picked out the most beautiful Bonneville - all white with red trim (not seats, just trim). We never had a better, sweeter car."
- Amy Mayhall, Santa Barbara, Calif.

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