Christmas Tree Shops, which developed a reputation for selling unique home goods items at discounted prices, plans to liquidate all of its stores in the United States, including three in Maine, unless a buyer emerges in the near future.

The stores, on Payne Road in Scarborough, near the Maine Mall, as well as in Augusta and Bangor, all would be impacted.

A manager at the Scarborough store said Monday night that employees have not been told when the store will close, only that it could be saved if a buyer emerges with an offer within the next week or two. There are about 80 full- and part-time employees in Scarborough.

News Center Maine, citing the Wall Street Journal, reported that the Massachusetts-based chain filed for bankruptcy in May with plans to close 10 underperforming stores by Aug. 11. Several of those stores did close.

But last week Christmas Tree Shops decided to default on a $45 million loan used to keep its remaining 72 stores operating, which resulted in a decision to liquidate all its stores. The Wall Street Journal cited a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware, in its reporting.

According to court documents, prospective buyers will have until July 16 to submit qualified bids for the chain.

Christmas Tree Shops started on Cape Cod as a holiday boutique in the 1950s. Until earlier this year, the chain ran 82 stores in 20 states. The company has been under new ownership since Bed Bath & Beyond sold the company in 2020.

On the Scarborough store’s website, Christmas Tree Shops says it offers customers an ever-changing assortment of home goods ranging from holiday decorations to home decor, furniture to outdoor living, pet supplies, food, drinks as well as paper and party goods.

“You can count on us for every occasion and every day. Come in and let the treasure hunt begin!”

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