David’s Bridal is merely the latest addition to the list of organizations that have recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. According to reports, the bankruptcy filing will wipe out upwards of $400 million in long-term debts. David’s Bridal allegedly has between $500 million and $1 billion in liabilities, with $100 million to $500 million in assets. The company plans to operate as usual during the restructuring, meaning that they aren’t going anywhere. But while that might not seem like a big deal to many singles, a lot of soon-to-be brides are shaking in their heels over the news.
While the average woman owns around seven pairs of denim jeans, pants aren’t nearly as substantial an investment as a wedding gown. In fact, many brides will choose to make down payments on dresses, in lieu of buying them outright, just to make the purchase more affordable. According to Wedding Wire, most couples spend anywhere from $400 to $1,700 on a wedding dress in the United States. But there are certainly those who spend far more.
That might not sound like much in comparison to the total cost that one of the 2.4 million weddings that takes place every year racks up. But it’s certainly nothing to sneeze at. And for women whose weddings are coming up soon, the thought of suddenly being without a dress and without recourse is enough to give them cold feet (or a heart attack).
But from what David’s Bridal says, these brides have nothing to worry about. Because the organization was able to secure financial support from lenders, they plan to exit Chapter 11 in early 2019 and will keep their 300-plus stores open and their website operating.
The brides who are nervous aren’t totally wrong to be. When wedding retailer Alfred Angelo decided to liquidate its business out of nowhere last year, numerous brides never got the dresses they paid for. But according to David’s Bridal, that won’t be the case here.
In a statement, the company said: “Orders will arrive on time and bridal appointments will not be impacted.” CEO Scott Key added, “For more than 60 years, David’s has delivered beautiful, high-quality dresses and accessories for our customers’ most special occasions, and the actions we are taking will enable us to build on that tradition… Our team is laser-focused on providing brides and their families with the five-star service and experience they deserve and have come to expect from us.”
Even with restructuring, however, it may be tough for the overly formal David’s to make it in the casual world. Couples are now waiting longer to get married, and when they do, they don’t want to spend a lot or get dressed to the nines. According to reports, David’s Bridal garments tend to veer more toward black tie and are typically on the higher end of the price spectrum — although many stores are offering huge deals to move merchandise.
Still, many are hopeful David’s will pull through — particularly those who have already paid in part for their gowns. After the new year, the chain’s fate will be a bit clearer. With any luck, the organization will help men and women walk down the aisle in style for years to come.