Bridal retailer Alfred Angelo filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which entails liquidation of a company and its assets, on July 14, according to a notice on its website. A request for further details from Retail Dive wasn’t immediately returned.
“As a result, all stores and wholesalers are closed,” according to the company, which is based in Delray Beach, FL and had 61 stores nationwide. The company's filing will also close down stores in Japan, Spain, the Netherlands, France, the U.K., Canada and Australia.
Many of its designs, which included “special occasion” dresses for bridesmaids and others, were sold by more than 1,400 retailers globally, according to its website. Margaret Smith was appointed the company’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee, according to the notice.
Alfred Angelo Piccione and Edythe Piccione founded the bridal business in Philadelphia in the 1930s and it was later run by their children. On June 29, Alfred Angelo’s headquarters faced an eviction lawsuit over unpaid rent, according to the South Florida Business Journal.
The sudden store closures created chaos for patrons who had already ordered gowns and showed up at the shops to find them closed, according to the report.
While plenty of brides hew to the white dress tradition, American weddings have always been looser than in other countries, thanks to a diverse mix of cultures. Those familiar with the wedding dress market, whether they experienced it as a bride or as a retail professional, know that the popular depiction isn’t the norm for all brides. While the typical wedding takes about 13 months to plan and the average cost of a wedding dress was $1,671 in 2015, customer tastes — as in every retail category — vary.
Retailers from H&M to Asos and ModCloth have entered the market, rolling out lines of wedding and bridesmaid dresses that are cheaper and more quickly available. The idea isn’t new — J. Crew is credited as one of the first non-bridal retailers to introduce its own wedding line, launching in 2004. But the influx of retailers in the space has grown in recent years with a boost from one of the biggest disrupters in all of retail: the internet. Amazon itself has a page dedicated to weddings at its Handmade at Amazon unit.
This all appears to be taking its toll: J. Crew got out of the business last year, to the dismay of brides who liked its more casual approach, and David's Bridal appeared on Moody's Investors Service's February list of distressed retailers.