David’s Bridal filed for bankruptcy on Monday just days after announcing plans to lay off more than 9,000 workers nationwide later this year.
Well Known Bridal Store Files for Bankruptcy
David’s Bridal, newly bankrupt, is seeking an eligible buyer.
The company said it has been hurt by a range of factors, including inflation and competition from online retailers and secondhand retailers. A shift to more casual weddings has also made David’s Bridal’s elaborate dresses and gowns less appealing to some brides.
“An increasing number of brides are opting for less traditional wedding attire, including thrift wedding dresses,” David’s Bridal said in a bankruptcy filing. “These shifting consumer preferences have significantly exacerbated” the company’s financial crunch.
David’s Bridal has also been hurt by changes in how women shop for wedding dresses.
“The demand for formal wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and related accessories has decreased substantially in the current environment,” the company said in its filing.
This marks David’s Bridal’s second bankruptcy filing in five years, with the first occurring in November 2018.
1 in 4 Brides Visited David’s Bridal
Founded in 1950, David’s Bridal sells mostly wedding dresses and prom gowns across U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. The retailer, which has 298 stores nationwide, has been outfitting brides and their bridal parties for more than 70 years.
David’s Bridal said its online platforms, including Pearl, which connects customers and vendors, will also remain available and accessible. In addition, members of Diamond, the company’s customer loyalty program, are able to continue earning and redeeming reward points.
In court documents, David’s Bridal said roughly 1-in-4 U.S. brides got their wedding gown from the company and nearly 90% of brides visited the store’s website at least once during their wedding planning.
What Does This Mean For Brides?
“It’s business as usual,” said the manager at David’s Bridal at The Pavilion in Port Orange, who declined to give her name. The manager also told a News-Journal reporter that only the company’s corporate communications staff was authorized to speak to the media.
The company’s website assures customers that while David’s Bridal goes through the court process, stores will remain open for business and orders will be filled as usual. Online orders will also be accepted.
The popular wedding dress retailer said its stores and e-commerce website will remain open during the financial restructuring process.
David’s Bridal executives said they are trying to arrange a sale of the company. The Pennsylvania-based company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, has $257 million in debt, according to court documents.
“We have successfully modernized our marketing and customer interaction processes and driven our retail service levels to best in class,” CEO James Marcum said in a statement. “Nonetheless, our business continues to be challenged by the post-COVID environment and uncertain economic conditions, leading us to take this step to identify a buyer who can continue to operate our business going forward.”
David’s Bridal plans to lay off 9,236 employees in three waves between April and August, according to a notice posted Friday on Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor.
As of April, the company had about 10,000 employees — 2,000 full-time and 8,000 part-time. The company said in a statement Monday that some layoffs have already begun.
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