Retailer Christmas Tree Shops will close up to 10 of its 82 stores as part of a bankruptcy restructuring that was filed Friday by company owner Handil Holdings.
The company, known for its discount décor deals and low-cost home goods, has four stores in New Hampshire – Nashua, North Conway, Portsmouth and Salem. Handil has not said what stores will close, but did say affected stores will be those that are “underperforming.”
In a statement Friday, Marc Salkovitz, Handil CEO, said that it will be “business as usual,” at the stores as the bankruptcy court considers the company’s filing petition. The petition was filed in the District of Delaware U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Handil Holdings acquired Christmas Tree Shops from Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2020, and announced modernization plans that included a name rebrand to CTS, expanding existing stores and opening new ones. When they announced the rebranding in late 2021, Handil officials said the company had 35% growth in their first year of ownership. But Salkovitz told the Wall Street Journal Friday that that rising inflation, particularly that caused by the war in Ukraine, has had an impact on the budgets of Christmas Tree Shops’ core customers.
Under Chapter 11, the business can remain open while the court considers its restructuring plan, usually supported by a loan. Salkovitz told the Wall Street Journal the restructuring, once approved, could be completed by August.
Christmas Tree Shops is based in Middleborough, Mass., and has stores in 20 states, including 15 in the Bay State and three in Maine.
The Portsmouth store opened in 2008 in the new Christmas Tree Shops Plaza, 100 Durgin Lane, at the site of a former Costco, which closed in 1996, and was then occupied briefly by Home Depot. The original building was torn down to make way for the shopping plaza, with Christmas Tree Shop as the anchor store. It was one of the first in the chain to open after the company was bought by Bed, Bath & Beyond in 2003 from Charles and Doreen Bilezikian, who opened the first store on Cape Cod in 1970.
Some Christmas Tree Shops sublease their property from Bed, Bath & Beyond, which filed for bankruptcy last month and is liquidating, which means Christmas Tree Shops will negotiate its leases directly with landlords that had been leasing to BB&B, Salkovitz said.
The bankruptcy filing lists the 30 largest creditors who are owed money, from. $1.9 million to Luxe Collective Group, of New York City, to $389,133 to Cardlytics Group, of Chicago.