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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Local store will be called ‘and That’, not Christmas Tree Shops

The name “and That” can be seen on a silhouette of the Big Red Sign by the main entrance into Central Park. Company officials submitted this image, along with others, to the city of Fredericksburg for sign approval.

A new store scheduled to open next month in Fredericksburg will provide a test case of sorts for a subsidiary of Bed Bath & Beyond.

A store in the former Shoppers Food space in the Central Park shopping center will not be called Christmas Tree Shops after all. It will be called “and That” and will be the only store of that name in the Bed Bath family.

“Fredericksburg has an exclusive,” said Christmas Tree Shops spokeswoman Michele Watkins.

Construction crews are now renovating the former Shoppers Food space that will be the home of Buy Buy Baby and “and That.”

Watkins said the store layout and merchandise will be familiar to people who have shopped at a Christmas Tree Shops location previously. The store will still fall into the Christmas Tree Shops family. Just the name will be different.

Watkins said the company will make future naming decisions based in part on how Fredericksburg-area residents react to the store, which is expected to open in mid-November. It will be next to another store in the Bed Bath family: Buy Buy Baby.

Despite its name, Christmas Tree Shops sells much more than seasonal holiday items. It stocks an array of constantly changing bargain-priced items including home furnishings, housewares, clothing and gifts.

Christmas Tree Shops started in Massachusetts more than 40 years ago, and many of its 74 U.S. stores are in New England. Watkins said New Englanders are familiar with the quirky name, but people outside the region have had a lot of questions about the brand and what was sold.

“We found that we had a lot of explaining to do,” she said.

After much thought, the company decided to try something different in Fredericksburg. Watkins said the name comes from the fact that many shoppers say they go to Christmas Tree Shops to buy “this and that.”

“It’s a fun take on how our customers respond when they’re in our stores,” Watkins said.