Christmas Tree Shops likely to close after bankruptcy filing

Jul 3, 2023

Christmas Tree Shops in Dartmouth had more customers than most days on July 3 due to its reported closure.

In May, the chain filed for bankruptcy because of stores underperforming. The company’s plan to close its remaining 83 stores and cease operations completely was detailed in court documents filed in U.S. bankruptcy court on June 28. Unless a buyer emerges by later this week to take over the company, the stores will begin going out of business sales soon. 

The financial troubles leave the Dartmouth store, located at 65 Faunce Corner Mall Road, likely to close soon. Management has no comment on whether or not the store will survive. There is no evidence in the store that the end is near, yet many shoppers came out expecting that its days are numbered.

“I’m only here because it’s closing,” said Mike Lagesse. “I don’t shop here so it really doesn’t faze me too much.”

Lagesse and his wife pointed out that there aren’t typical going-out-of-business sales in the store.

Some shoppers are disappointed in the potential closure.

Sharon Kennedy is “very upset” that the store is closing. “All the stores where you can get small little things that you can’t find at other stores are [closing].”

Diane Antone said she “can’t believe this one is closing,” and said she finds something good every time she stops in, picking up a children's book and pool toys on her most recent visit.

Not all customers are as satisfied with the store. One woman from Fairhaven said, “I didn’t find much, I spent way more than I expected to, and it’s not what it used to be.”

Employees are worried about their future employment. One manager who has been at the store for over 10 years said, “Who wouldn’t be [nervous]?’’ about the future in wake of the news.

Another employee said, “we’re like a family [here], we love this store.”

The privately held Christmas Tree Shops was founded in 1950 as a seasonal gift shop and grew into a thriving year-round enterprise. Its owners, Marc and Pam Salkovitz, acquired the retail chain from Bed, Bath and Beyond in 2020.

At the beginning of this year, it operated more than 80 stores, including 15 in Massachusetts.

Yet CTS, as the company rebranded itself, has been struggling for some time. Rising interest rates and oil prices piled on top of the troubles felt by most brick-and-mortar retailers during the pandemic.

In a bankruptcy declaration statement on May 5, Marc Salkovitz, a partial owner of the chain, said customer traffic in the stores decreased by about 35 percent since May 2022, and sales slid by 25 percent.

In 2022, the company’s net earnings were negative $45 million, according to Salkovitz.