Brides-to-be are scrambling for answers and solutions.
Imagine you’re a bride, several months away from your big day. Having gone through the selection process, consultations, and several fittings, you await the delivery of your dress — only to learn through news reports that the store responsible for outfitting you on your big day has closed. The fate of your dress and your substantial deposit is unknown, and the company unresponsive.
This crisis befell many brides last week as it was reported that Florida-based bridal chain Alfred Angelo shuttered its stores. Some women were fortunate enough to receive calls from the staff telling them to pick up their dresses immediately, while many others weren’t so lucky, walking away with bankruptcy claim forms or, in many instances, nothing at all.
In the aftermath, the company issued a matter-of-fact statement on its website confirming the closures in the face of Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
“Alfred Angelo filed for bankruptcy on July 14, 2017. As a result, all stores and wholesalers are closed. Margaret Smith was appointed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee. If you wish to be contacted regarding your order status once information is available, please send an email to email@example.com. We will post additional information regarding the status of dresses on this web-site as it becomes available.”
Chapter 7 bankruptcy, unlike Chapter 11, which allows for restructuring, is generally the end of the line for a corporation. Assets are managed by a trustee for liquidation to fulfill a firm’s outstanding obligations.
Many took to Twitter to express their outrage not so much at the bankruptcy itself but at the chain’s secrecy while knowing that the fate of so many weddings is dependent on the fulfillment of their orders.
I'm pretty sure a company doesn't find out they're bankrupt overnight. #alfredangelo is also morally bankrupt not giving brides a heads up!— Ezequiel Gutierrez (@Ezequiel Gutierrez)1499997191.0
The brides themselves were understandably quick to act out of anger and a need to ascertain the status of their works-in-progress.
Miami bankruptcy lawyer for #alfredangelo has gotten more than 7,000 emails in two days. Brides are NOT happy https://t.co/cmwxG2IgBD— Doug Hanks (@Doug Hanks)1500086536.0
Per the Alfred Angelo website, the brand operates over 60 stores across the United States and sells its designs at over 1,400 outlets domestically and internationally.
We’ll see if bankruptcy filings can protect Alfred Angelo from the wrath of thousands of irate brides.