- David’s Bridal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it said in a press release on Monday.
- The new deal will enable it to reduce its $US760 million debt load by $US400 million and to continue to operate business as usual. According to the company, there are no current plans to close stores or liquidate.
- The wedding and bridesmaid dress chain has been struggling for years as millennials shift away from traditional weddings, opting for more casual, lower-priced ones.
- We visited one of the chain’s stores just before it filed for bankruptcy. Here’s what it was like.
David’s Bridal has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, it said in a press release on Monday.
The new deal will allow the wedding dress chain to reduce its $US760 million debt load by $US400 million and continue to operate business as usual. According to the company, it has no plans to close its stores or liquidate inventory. Current orders and bridal appointments will not be impacted.
Bloomberg reported on November 5 that the 300-store chain could be filing for bankruptcy imminently. The wedding and bridesmaid dress chain has been struggling in recent years because millennials are shifting away from traditional weddings, opting for more casual, lower-priced weddings and gowns.
On top of that, David’s Bridal has been under pressure to lower its prices, as stores like Anthropologie, H&M, and Asos all offer less expensive bridal collections.
“There are so many options for brides to shop now, and women have the option to shop for less,” Anne Chertoff, a wedding-industry marketing consultant, told Business Insider’s Mary Hanbury earlier this year. “The market is saturated, and it gets diffused.”
We visited a David’s Bridal store just days before it filed for bankruptcy. Here’s what it was like:
We went to the David’s Bridal store in New York City’s Flatiron District.
The store was pretty small, but it looked like it was brand-new. At the front was a desk with a few employees waiting to help everyone who came into the store. There appeared to be more people working than shopping.
To the left of the entrance was “The Dress Shop,” which carried dresses primarily for bridesmaids. Almost everything was over $US100.
The walls were lined with dresses organised by colour.
Most of the bridesmaid dresses were on sale. Dresses that cost $US149 or less were $US20 off, and dresses that were $US150 or more were $US30 off.
A lot of the styles seemed better suited for black-tie weddings than casual ones.
There was a small flower-girl section in the back of the store that sold dresses, shoes, and jewellery for kids.
There was also a small section that carried T-shirts and robes, but there wasn’t very much to choose from.
The back of the store had a huge fitting area with tons of bright lights and big mirrors.
Next to that was jewellery …
… which was all on sale as buy one, get one half off.
All of the jewellery was very traditional. It was mostly big, sparkly pieces, and there was not much variety.
The right side of the store was entirely bridal dresses.
There was another fitting room on this side of the store.
Dresses ranged in price from $US100 to more than $US1,000. One of David’s Bridal’s key issues is that more brides are wanting to dress down on their wedding day. But David’s Bridal didn’t carry anything more casual — everything seemed very extravagant.
Even though the store itself was very nice and clean, the styles it carried were all very over-the-top, and many were expensive. The same held true for bridesmaid dresses and jewellery.
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