Christmas Tree Shops preparing to file for bankruptcy, report says

WSJ: Christmas Tree Shops preparing to file for bankruptcy protection

MIDDLEBORO - Christmas Tree Shops, the well-known New England home decor retailer, is reportedly getting ready to file for bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal, citing "people familiar with the matter," reports that the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing could happen as soon as this weekend. The newspaper said the company has hired law firm Murphy & King in Boston.

Christmas Tree Shops were owned by recently bankrupt Bed Bath & Beyond until 2020. The chain got its start on Cape Cod 50 years ago.

Last year it was reported that the company would be rebranded as "CTS" because people outside of New England believed they only sold Christmas trees. The CEO said at the time there were plans to open another 15 stores with the new CTS name. 

Although this new report may seem sobering, retail experts say there is life after Chapter 11.

"Chapter 11 isn't the end of the road. It is really a way for firms to restructure," said Ken Morris of Cambridge Retail Advisors. "I look at, there are A, B, C, D stores. If you have A stores, you're not going to close those. But you may want to close the D stores. This allows them to restructure some of their debt."

Edgar Dworsky, of, said it might be a good time to use gift cards if you have them. But like Morris, he remains optimistic.

"I think they're a wonderful retailer. They fill a great niche. Bargain hunters love to poke around and see what they can find," Dworsky said. "I hope they are able to reorganize because they really are a beloved chain in Massachusetts and New England." 

There are 15 Christmas Tree Shops currently in Massachusetts and four in New Hampshire, according to the store's website. 

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