A major bridal dress chain has abruptly closed an array of its stores leaving brides and bridesmaids dress-less, panicked, and in limbo. Alfred Angelo – a Florida-based company that stocks at nearly 1,400 boutiques across the U.S. and internationally, including self-owned and operates stores in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, and D.C. – has since confirmed the store closures and its plan to file for bankruptcy protection.
In a statement to Tucson News, Patricia Redmond, counsel for Alfred Angelo, has confirmed the bankruptcy reports, saying, "Yes, the company has closed all stores and if ailing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The company will work with the trustee in every way possible to facilitate delivery of dresses on premises and in transit."
According to the WSJ, "A store manager who spoke to The Wall Street Journal said employees had no warning of the closures, with the company informing employees Thursday morning that it was shutting down the stores at the end of the day. Managers, she said, were told to lock up Thursday and drop off the keys."
A number of the brand’s locations bear signs that indicate that the stores are now permanently closed and store associates have refused to speak to the matter. The status of any already-purchased dresses is unclear. One Texas bride told the San Antonio Express-News that an Alfred Angelo manager called to inform her that she needed to pick up her dress by the end of the night on Thursday. A separate store employee reportedly told another bride that all products that had been ordered have been shipped to customers' homes.
Taking to social media, many brides-to-be are sharing their frustrations. Coral Gables-based Cassandra Gallego wrote: "Like to think I've been pretty zen through this wedding planning process but Alfred Angelo just turned me into bridezilla!"
Amid the widespread confusion, Alfred Angelo, which was founded in 1933, has not released an official statement to address the store closures, either on its website or through its social media, and did not respond to requests for comment. Rival bridal chain David's Bridal, however, has identified an opportunity: It also announced on Friday that it is offering discounts and rush shipping to Alfred Angelo customers affected by the closures.
As for remedies for brides and bridesmaids that have not been able to locate their already-ordered dresses, many are taking to disputing the purchases with their credit card companies.