Christmas Tree Shops closure described as ‘complete breakdown'

Store-closing sales fell $14 million short of revenue projections

NBC Universal, Inc.

A judge overseeing bankruptcy proceedings for Christmas Tree Shops described the recent store closings as a "complete breakdown" during a hearing Wednesday.

Reuters reported that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Horan converted the company's bankruptcy to a Chapter 7 liquidation and ordered a court-appointed trustee to oversee the process to ensure that employees are paid $1.17 million for hours worked during the recent going-out-of-business sales. During the hearing, a lawyer for Christmas Tree Shops said store-closing sales fell $14 million short of revenue projections.

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"Its clear to me that there's been a complete breakdown," Horan said. "This case is not going to be run on the backs of employees, that's just unacceptable."

If you've lived in New England long enough, you know that Christmas Tree Shops is a staple. From kitchen gadgets, to outdoor furniture, toys and even food, the popular Middleboro-based store is reportedly in some financial trouble.

All 49 remaining Christmas Tree Shops, including 18 in New England, closed last Saturday. There were eight locations in Massachusetts, four in Connecticut, two in Maine, two in New Hampshire and one apiece in Rhode Island and Vermont.

The well-known chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this yearwhen just two Massachusetts stores were included on the initial store closure list.

If you've lived in New England long enough, you know that Christmas Tree Shops is a staple, selling everything from kitchen gadgets, to outdoor furniture, to toys and even food.

Christmas Tree Shops started on Cape Cod in the 1950s and is now based in Middleboro, Massachusetts. Until earlier this year, the chain ran 82 stores in 20 states.

The company has been under new ownership since Bed Bath & Beyond sold them in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal said the company defaulted on a $45 million bankruptcy loan, meaning that instead of closing just a small number of stores and looking to emerge from bankruptcy this August they now have to sell off all of its remaining stores unless a last minute buyer can be found.

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