Alfred Angelo, one of the nation’s largest bridal retailers found in over 1,400 stores, shuttered its operation and filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection Friday without fulfilling all orders, leaving many brides scrambling throughout the weekend to reclaim deposits or scare up more money to find their plan B gowns.
The company filing confirmed a Wall Street Journal report from Thursday on the planned closing of more than 60 Alfred Angelo Signature bridal stores.
The Florida-based Alfred Angelo, in operation for over 80 years, also ran a wholesale operation through other retailers, including department store Macy’s M, +1.18% and smaller boutiques, as well as online sellers. The company had not yet posted any information about the store closures on its website or official social media accounts.
The rising popularity of September and October for wedding dates over the perennially popular June meant that thousands of brides found their orders in limbo. They shared their tears on Twitter:
I've had the shock, the tears and now I'm just pissed. Heartbroken doesn't cover it, hope I find a better dress. 💔#alfredangelo
— Sammy Jade (@sammyyjadee) July 14, 2017
— Doug Hanks (@doug_hanks) July 15, 2017
My wedding is in 29 days. I'm glad orange is my wedding color because I'm gonna be married in jail if I can't get my dresses. #alfredangelo
— Ashley Austin (@ashaleh22) July 14, 2017
The manager at an independent boutique in Manhattan told the Wall Street Journal that Alfred Angelo’s collapse will affect many stores like her own that take online orders for Alfred Angelo designs, since those customers can’t just walk in the store and replace their ordered dress. She told the Journal she found out about the closing Thursday on a private Facebook group for bridal stores and manufacturers.
One bridal shop owner told the Journal that industry speculation pinned part of Alfred Angelo’s collapse on brick-and-mortar retailer troubles.
Alfred Angelo’s gowns are priced in the midrange, where most of the money is spent industrywide, according to The Wedding Report, an industry research firm.
Rival bridal retailers, including David’s Bridal, used social media to grab some of Alfred Angelo’s customers, although was sweetening the deal with a discount. With an Alfred Angelo receipt, David’s Bridal customers will receive 30% off wedding dresses and 20% off bridesmaid dresses.
And former brides offered to ship their own worn-once gowns.
— Macie Hanrahan (@maciecakes13) July 14, 2017
Coincidentally, Saturday marks the start of the annual National Bridal Sale, where more than 700 independent stores around the U.S. and in Canada and Mexico sell discontinued lines at discounted prices.