Does Monrovia already sell to chain stores?

I received a couple of comment's that say Monrovia already sell's plants in plain black containers to Costco and Fred Meyer's. Check out this comment and the one following. The first comment by Eddie claims, "I don’t think Monrovia is being completely honest with us. I’ve been a loyal customer of theirs for years and I have developed some important relationships with some of their inside people. From them, I have recently been told the following:-They did hire an ex-Hines VP a while back to try and generate big box business. -Three representatives from Home Depot have already walked one of their nursery sites. -Their Glendora property is being sold and is in escrow. -They already do business with chain stores including Costco and Fred Meyer. Knowing this it is hard not to be cynical about the letter they sent. Are they just looking for a business excuse to sell to the chains? If that is their intent, why don’t just come clean and tell us that? It sure did seem like they were hiding something on the call I listened to."

The second comment by anonymous states, "Eddie, you exactly right. I was an inside. Fred Meyer and Costco gets a ‘Garden Ready’ (generic unbranded tag) and a black pot.

I also did hear about the mass merchant person hired. That was long before anything was announced that they were in trouble. Also known was the boxes that toured the nurseries. Unfortunately as large as this nursery is, it is still small enough that everyone else knows what is going on.

They are probably looking for a way to sell even more product by begging the IGC’s to risk their bottom lines, but since those numbers probably won’t happen- their backup plan will be sell to the boxes. And surprise, that plan is probably already in place. What a smokescreen. Do they think their IGC’s will be fooled?"

I have had quite a few visitors to my site who use the search terms that included the name "Mike Trebing Monrovia". Mike is formerly of Hines Nurseries, now bankrupt. Mike is known for saying that, "we have the cleanest balance sheet in the industry” after the first Hines Bankruptcy. Could this be the "mass merchant specialist" we are talking about?

I don't question Monrovia's right to sell to whomever they wish. The letter we independents received said IF they didn't have an increase in pre-bookings to the tune of 22 million they would then possibly have to sell to the chains. So which is it? I don't think there is a whole lot of difference between a Costco, Fred Meyers (which we don't have in my neck of the woods) and Home Depot. As a matter of fact I would say that Home Depot is a step up from Costco when it comes to plants.

Does anyone have more information concerning Monrovia already selling to the mega-chains?