(NEW YORK) — David’s Bridal has filed for bankruptcy and announced massive layoffs just weeks before wedding season.
One of the country’s largest bridal retailers, the company revealed plans to eliminate 9,236 employees across its hundreds of stores.
“They may shut some stores down,” The Stylish Bride founder Julie Sabatino told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “If that happens, you’re probably just going to need to go a little bit further to find a David’s.”
Layoffs have already begun in Pennsylvania and will continue to roll out through Aug. 11 at up to 15 stores in the state.
“Over the last several years, we have taken meaningful strides in our transformation to fulfill the needs of the brides of today and tomorrow,” David’s Bridal CEO James Marcum said in a statement. “We have successfully modernized our marketing and customer interaction processes and driven our retail service levels to best in class.”
He continued, “Nonetheless, our business continues to be challenged by the post-COVID environment and uncertain economic conditions, leading us to take this step to identify a buyer who can continue to operate our business going forward. We are determined to stay focused on our future, because we believe we have an important role in ensuring that every bride, no matter her budget, can have her perfect dress.”
In 2022, weddings hit their highest number in four decades as the result of a pandemic backlog, according to CEO of the Wedding Report Shane McMurray.
However, not as many people are expected to tie the knot this year due to post-pandemic obstacles, such as supply chain issues, that have continued to affect the wedding industry.
“What we’re seeing right now is dresses are taking anywhere between nine and 12 months to be produced, which is a much longer lead time than we were dealing with pre-pandemic,” said Sabatino.
Many people have also opted to pivot toward changing trends that lean toward second-hand shopping or non-traditional options.
Bride-to-be Jenn Leonard told GMA she found her wedding dress at a consignment shop and saved more than $1,500 off the retail price.
“My buying this dress is actually helping out the previous bride. That is a huge thing,” said Leonard. “You know, I’ve always firmly believed in paying it forward.”
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