April 1, 2002
Molbak's to sell Seattle store
According to a press release issued by the company, Molbak's has decided to focus its attention squarely on its Woodinville nursery and garden center. In order to channel its efforts and resources toward the flagship store, the company will sell its 5,000-square-foot retail store, the Seattle Garden Center, located in the heart of Seattle's Pike Place Market. The company plans to continue operating the store while it is for sale.
"While we have truly enjoyed operating in the Market," said Jens Molbak, owner of the company, "we need to focus on serving customers at our Woodinville store. The sale will generate funds that will be used to retire debt and reinvest in the Woodinville store."
The company's decision to concentrate on its large, single location has led Molbak's CEO, Kern Gillette, to announce that he will leave the company in mid-April. Gillette joined Molbak's two and a half years ago, coming from Cinnabon, the 400-unit chain formerly based in Seattle. At the time, Molbak's was planning a multi-store rollout strategy, the press release said.
"My time with Molbak's has been challenging and rewarding," Gillette said, "and I will miss the people here, all of whom I consider friends."
"We will miss Kern," Molbak said. "He has been a strong CEO and has played a key role in saving the company. We wish him nothing but the best."
Upon Gillette's departure, Jens Molbak will assume the role of Chairman/Chief Executive Officer.
"In the six weeks that I have owned the company," said Molbak, "it's clear that the Woodinville store is strong and healthy. I have heard from customers and employees and I believe that Molbak's has a terrific opportunity to create the garden center of our customers' dreams. With our 10-acre site in Woodinville, we have an inspirational environment where we can offer our customers the largest selection of fresh, healthy plants and related products that can help enhance anyone's home and garden. The Pike Place Market store (wasn't) large enough for that."