David’s Bridal Is Filing for Bankruptcy. Will You Be Able to Get Your Wedding Dress?

Will this spoil the walk down the aisle? David’s Bridal has said it will file for bankruptcy in the near future. The chain, which has more than 300 stores in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., says the filing will allow it to eliminate $400 million of debt while continuing business as usual, Fox Business reported.

Here’s what brides-to-be need to know about the David’s Bridal bankruptcy, including whether you’ll still be able to get your wedding dress from the store.

David’s Bridal says all brides will get their dresses

David’s Bridal is the biggest wedding dress chain in America, serving about 25% of all brides, according to Bloomberg. One out of every three brides in the U.S. wear a gown from David’s, and that number is even higher among people who spend less than $600 on a dress, Racked reported in 2015. That means that there are probably a lot of panicked people out there right now worrying that they might have to scramble for a new dream gown.

CEO Scott Key is urging those brides not to freak out. In a video statement, he said the store would not be shutting its doors.

David’s Bridal has been the leader in the wedding industry for over 60 years.  During that time, we’ve seen a lot of things change: fashion trends, where brides find inspiration and how customers shop. But one thing will always remain the same: our commitment to you, our customer. To underscore this commitment, we have announced a plan to financially restructure David’s Bridal. This agreement allows us to guarantee no change in the service level our customers expect from us.

Key went on to assure shoppers that all David’s Bridal stores would stay open, and that orders and alterations would be fulfilled on time.

The announcement should provide relief for worried customers, who might be concerned that they’d end up like those who’d ordered their gowns from Alfred Angelo. That chain of dress shops shut down unexpectedly in 2017, leaving many brides unable to pick up their dresses.

Why is David’s Bridal struggling?

David's Bridal
A David’s Bridal store | ablokhin/ iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus

With a solid 25% share of the U.S. wedding dress market, you might think that David’s Bridal would have nothing to worry about. But big shifts in the wedding industry have put a dent in its business, according to Bloomberg.

For one, fewer people are getting married. Plus, competitors have moved in on David’s turf. The store was once one of the few options for more budget-minded brides. But now, retailers like BHLDN and Reformation offer shoppers an affordable alternative. Even fast-fashion retailer H&M has a wedding shop, with dresses available for under $300, as does online retailer ModCloth.

The store has also been fighting its reputation as “the Walmart of bridal,” its own executives admitted. With a growing number of couples opting for non-traditional weddings with custom touches, David’s Bridal’s more traditional offerings were less appealing to some.  

David’s Bridal isn’t the only wedding retailer on the ropes. In addition to Alfred Angelo, the Gap shuttered its Weddington Way brand in 2017, while J. Crew pulled the plug on its wedding dress collection in 2016.

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