sets close of retail operations

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Most Popular, an online retailer of gardening products, on Nov. 15 said it will shut down retail operations and sell its consumer business assets after it failed to secure financing to fund operations or find a buyer for the company. The company plans a "phased layoff" of its consumer business employees; the company cut 93 employees, or 30% of its work force of 246, on Sept. 28. At that time, said it hired investment bank Robertson Stephens to evaluate strategic alternatives for the company. The closure comes just over a year after the company's initial public offering, during which it raised about $49.2 million selling 4.1 million shares, or a 24% stake in the company. Trading of shares was halted on Nasdaq Wednesday morning, with a last trade at a mere 7/32. Its 52-week high was $15 a share back at the end of 1999. McGarrah/Jessee, Austin, Texas, created a TV commercial for in 1999.

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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