Saturday, December 19, 2015

Postcard: The original Christmas Tree Shops location


It's the last Saturday before Christmas, and you probably have some shopping to finish today. (Good luck with that.) In keeping with that theme, today's old postcard1 features the original Christmas Tree Shops location in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts.2

The description on the back of this unused card states:

THE CHRISTMAS TREE GIFT SHOPS
Corner of Willow St. and Route 6A
Yarmouth Port, Cape Cod, Mass.
Cape Cod's Most Distinctive and Charming
Gift Shops.

A short history of Christmas Tree Shops goes something like this:

  • In the 1950s, a barn in Yarmouth Port doubled as a holiday gift shop called The Christmas Tree Gift Shop. It sold Christmas gifts and ornaments from May through October.
  • In the early 1970s, Chuck and Doreen Bilezikian bought the barn/store and began to transform the business into "a destination for one-of-a-kind items and real bargain prices." Three shops made up the first location: Front Shop, Back Shop, and Barn Shop. That's why the company name is Shops instead of Shop.
  • The Bilezikians began to expand the business to other New England (and then national) locations in the 1980s.
  • In 2003, Bed Bath & Beyond bought Christmas Tree Shops.
  • The original stores on Route 6A, pictured on this postcard, closed 2007, but the site is now occupied by independent stores called Just Picked Gifts and owned by the Bilezikians' son.3
  • Today, there are more than 70 Christmas Tree Shops stores.
  • You probably know somebody who shopped at one of them this week.

Footnotes
1. It's a "Natural Color K Card" from Kodachrome. Other credits on the back of the card include:
  • A Mike Roberts Color Production, Berkeley 2, Calif.
  • Published for Bromley & Company, Inc., Boston 16, Massachusetts
  • SA887
2. Yarmouth Port is located about two hours south of Innsmouth, if you want to make a full day (or long night) of it.
3. For more, see this December 2014 article on Boston.com.

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