David’s Bridal, one of the country’s largest retailers of wedding dresses, is in financial distress. Earlier this week, the company announced plans to file for bankruptcy in federal court for the second time in five years.
Stores remain open as the company searches for a buyer for the 73-year-old business. But the move puts at least six Colorado locations across the state and hundreds of jobs on the chopping block, according to a layoff notice filed with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
“At this time, it is uncertain whether the company will be ceasing operations entirely or the closure will be limited to certain locations,” James Marcum, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.
As the company looks for a potential buyer, customers in Colorado may worry about the impacts on their special day. Here’s what to know:
What Colorado locations could be closing?
- Aurora: Aurora Town Center 100 South Abilene St. Unit B
- Colorado Springs: Academy Shops 7320 North Academy Blvd.
- Fort Collins: The Pavilion 4300 S College Ave.
- Grand Junction: Canyon View Marketplace 632 Market St.
- Lone Tree: 8680-B Park Meadows Center Dr.
- Westminster: 9270 Sheridan Blvd.
How soon could they close?
The company hasn’t given an exact date. In its layoff notice with the state, David’s Bridal said corporate layoffs could begin as soon as this month and continue through August.
Layoffs and closures at distribution centers and stores are likely to begin in June and last through August, according to its notice. The timeframe could change if the company finds a buyer, it said.
Will my current order be canceled?
Likely not. The company says that it plans to continue “fulfilling all customer orders without disruption or delay” for the meantime, according to its statement about the bankruptcy.
Its online retail sales, including its online wedding planner platform Pearl, will also remain up and running. Gift cards, returns, exchanges and reward programs are also still active.
Why is David’s Bridal filing for bankruptcy?
The Pennsylvania-based company has roughly $4.4 million in cash and at least $257 million in debts, according to bankruptcy court documents filed Monday.
The wedding industry saw business fall off a cliff during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many companies recovered and saw a resurgence in 2021 and 2022, particularly venues. But other parts of the industry have been slower to recover.
Competition among bridal gown retailers, particularly online, has increased, according to federal court filings from the company. Marriage rates have declined.
Customer shopping trends have also changed, with many brides opting for less traditional wedding attire, including thrift wedding dresses, according to the company’s court filings.
“Thus the demand for formal wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and related accessories has decreased substantially in the current environment,” the company said.
Are other Colorado wedding businesses in trouble?
Colorado boasts a large wedding industry. Roughly 35,000 weddings take place within the seven-county Front Range metropolitan area each year, according to Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Overall, the industry has seen spending rebound since pandemic restrictions eased. The business is very fragmented, which means couples already have multiple options for purchasing dresses, said Shane McMurray, CEO of the Wedding Report.
“The dress part of the business is pretty stable, it's the most stable part of the business,” McMurray said.
The loss of David’s Bridal would likely give more opportunities to smaller businesses and designers, he added.
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