Christmas Tree Shops to close all stores by August 12

The Christmas Tree Shops, a popular discount retailer that sold home goods and seasonal items, has announced that it will close all of its remaining stores by August 12, 2023. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, but failed to find a buyer or restructure its debt.

Christmas Tree Shops

The rise and fall of the Christmas Tree Shops

The Christmas Tree Shops started as a small holiday store in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in the 1950s. It expanded its assortment into a variety of products, such as furniture, kitchenware, toys, and snacks, and kept its name to reflect its “fun, quirky personality”. The company grew to have more than 70 stores across 16 states, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest.

In 2020, the Christmas Tree Shops was sold by Bed Bath & Beyond, which had acquired it in 2003, to Handil Holdings, a private equity firm. Handil Holdings hoped to revitalize the discount chain, but faced challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, online competition, and changing consumer preferences. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2023, citing “a severe liquidity crisis” and “unsustainable debt levels”.

The end of an era for bargain hunters

The Christmas Tree Shops initially planned to close up to 10 underperforming stores and find an investor or a buyer for the rest of the business. However, its sales continued to decline and it defaulted on a $45 million bankruptcy loan in June. The company’s lenders withdrew their funding and terminated the Chapter 11 financing.

As a result, the Christmas Tree Shops decided to liquidate all of its stores and go out of business. The company began holding going-out-of-business sales in late June and announced that its last day of operation would be August 12. The store closings will affect thousands of employees and loyal customers who enjoyed browsing the eclectic merchandise and finding bargains.

What’s next for the Christmas Tree Shops

The Christmas Tree Shops is not the only retailer that has succumbed to bankruptcy amid the pandemic. Other chains that have closed their doors include Pier 1 Imports, Stein Mart, J.C. Penney, and Lord & Taylor. The retail industry is undergoing a major transformation as more shoppers shift to online platforms and demand more convenience and personalization.

The Christmas Tree Shops may be gone soon, but its legacy will live on in the memories of those who shopped there. The company’s website says: “We hope you’ll treasure your time with us as much as we’ve treasured having you as part of our family.”

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