The Florida-based company abruptly closed all its stores, leaving its customers with questions about whether their paid orders will be fulfilled.
Editor's note: This story was updated on July 14 at 1:15 p.m., to include offers from Henri's Cloud Nine and Elegant Bride, and on July 15 at 12:45 p.m., include an offer from Macy's at Easton.
Late yesterday, news broke that Alfred Angelo Bridal, which has more than 60 stores nationwide, is closing most or all of its stores as the company files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
At 6:30 p.m. yesterday, the Dublin location at the corner of Dublin-Granville and Sawmill roads was closed and appeared empty of employees, despite promises made to customers earlier in the day that doors would remain open until the normal closing time of 8 p.m. A sign on the door promised that paid merchandise would be shipped to customers, but offered no further details.
Some brides-to-be who were at the store that evening claimed they had seen employees in the store boxing up gowns earlier that day, though customers were not allowed in the store at that time.
Bride-to-be Ashleigh Cherrelle told Columbus Weddings in a Facebook message that an Alfred Angelo employee called her early this morning, from her personal cell phone, to say that she had found Cherrelle’s dress and can meet her today to deliver it in person.
The Palm Beach Post reports that the chain’s corporate offices were emptied on Thursday morning as employees left en masse carrying their personal effects. And according to the Wall Street Journal, the company has hired Florida-based Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson to handle bankruptcy proceedings.
Employees at the Tampa and Orlando Alfred Angelo stores handed out contact information for Patricia A. Redmond, a lawyer with Stearns Weaver Miller, instructing brides to contact her if their wedding dresses did not arrive by the delivery date originally promised, according to Tampa-based NBC affiliate WFLA. On a Reddit thread in /r/weddingplanning, one user claims to have gotten a response from Redmond, promising to check on the matter of her missing dress and confirm by early next week.
A memo from Redmond to company partners appears to confirm that the company does indeed intend to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, adding the following:
“Although future decisions will be solely at the discretion and authority of the chapter 7 trustee appointed for the bankruptcy estate, the Company will encourage the chapter 7 trustee to finish and fulfill as many orders as possible.”
The memo was posted by two different women to two different, private Facebook groups, and forwarded to Columbus Weddings by White of Dublin co-owner Diane Bond.
To help brides who are affected by this closure, several local boutiques are offering the following discounts to Alfred Angelo customers:
Perfect Weddings, 430 N. Memorial Drive in Lancaster, had an Alfred Angelo wholesale account. Sales manager Liz Kemmerer says staff at the store is working with other wholesale shops to identify inventory of sample gowns for Alfred Angelo clients who don’t want to shop for an entirely new dress. She suggests that local brides call the store at 740-654-4696 to check inventory; if Perfect Weddings doesn’t have the dress in the right size, staff will work with partner shops to locate one. She adds that the store also is working with a company to re-create certain bridesmaid gowns on a case-by-case basis. Perfect Weddings and its network of fellow Alfred Angelo wholesalers are “trying to get as much done as we can for these brides,” Kemmerer says. “Perfect Weddings has been in business for about 32 years, and a good portion of that time we have [had] an Alfred Angelo wholesale account, so we do have quite a few of the gowns.” The shop doesn’t have across-the-board discount offers, but Kemmerer says brides who need help can reach out; situations will be evaluated individually.
White of Dublin, 23 N. High St. in Dublin, is offering a 40 percent discount on gowns in the store. The boutique’s sister store, Off White of Dublin, located next door, has an option for those whose weddings are coming up too quickly to place an order: “Off White has heavily discounted dresses to sell off the rack in case a bride’s wedding is coming up quickly and they need a quick turnaround,” says co-owner Diane Bond, adding that Off White’s offerings typically sell for 40 to 95 percent off retail value. Together, the two stores carry bridal gowns and accessories, as well as bridesmaid, flower girl and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
David’s Bridal, 6262 Sawmill Road in Dublin and 4187 Worth Ave. at Easton Gateway, has discount offers on much of their product, according to Easton store manager Beth Rocks. “We are in a unique position to be able to offer 30 percent off the current price of bridal gowns, and then 20 percent off of bridesmaids. And any rush fees on alterations would definitely be waived, to meet the event dates that have a tight timeframe,” she says. “We are definitely hoping to help as many brides as we possibly can.” To that end, flower girl dresses will be 15 percent off for those affected by the Alfred Angelo closure, and all mothers’ gowns are always $20 off current prices, no matter what. Rocks says these offers will also be available at the chain’s Dayton-area location, 7-15 Prestige Plaza Dr. in Miamisburg, to help those affected by the Alfred Angelo closing in the same plaza.
Henri's Cloud Nine, 8597 Sancus Blvd. near Polaris, has major discounts on 100 to 200 off-the-rack dresses, according to store manager Josh Vietmeier. "We're going to sell those dresses to these brides at rock-bottom price," he says. "There's going to be dresses for $99. Obviously not all of them, but there will be a lot for $99. We're going to lose a lot of money on them, but it's not a big deal, because we want to help these people out." For brides who prefer to order a new gown, the shop is offering 20 percent off most lines and 15 percent off each new bridesmaid gown. Rush order discounts are available on certain lines; contact the store at 888-823-9880 further details.
Macy's, 4141 Easton Loop East at Easton, carries Adrianna Papell wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses, and can deliver orders in 10 days or less. Julie Easterling, a My Stylist @ Macy's stylist, says the store will offer 25 percent off bridal and bridesmaid dresses with free shipping to couples who have or start a registry at the store. Call her at 614-342-2277 to get set up.
Twirl, 101 N. Detroit St. in Kenton, is extending a weekend sale through next week to help brides in need, according to owner Laura Wingfield. “If there is time to reorder gowns, I’m happy to give 15 percent off bridal and bridesmaids if needed,” she adds. “We are happy to help any way we can!”
Elegant Bride, 313 W. Bridge St. in Dublin, will strive to help any bride who needs a dress immediately, says store director Frankie Murphy. The store has plenty of off-the-rack dresses available, and special discounts on rush orders are available.
IVY Bridal Studio, 4441 W. Dublin-Granville Road in Dublin,will give affected brides free rush shipping on purchases, according to store owner Kelsey Brown. IVY Bridal carries bridal gowns and accessories.
Joan’s Bridal Couture, 7382 E. Main St. in Reynoldsburg, is offering free upgraded rush shipping on bridal gowns and bridesmaid dresses.
We’ll update this post with additional offers as we learn of them; we’ll also share them on our social media, so make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates.
Messages left with the local store and Alfred Angelo Bridal’s corporate offices were not returned. The company’s website makes no mention of the closures, but a “get it now or never” sale featuring “grab it and go” discounts of 50 to 80 percent on all in-store bridal gowns and “raid the rack” discounts of 50 to 75 percent off all in-store bridesmaid dresses.