A prominent maker and seller of bridal dresses has left perhaps hundreds of brides-to-be stranded at the altar – at least for now.
Delray Beach, Fla.-based Alfred Angelo Bridal, which has been in the bride/wedding apparel business for more than 80 years, abruptly closed its U.S. stores Thursday night, including its Roseville shop at 1208 Galleria Blvd.
The closures, which are being linked to a reported bankruptcy filing, stunned prospective brides who had ordered gowns at some 60 Alfred Angelo stores nationwide. Multiple media reports quoted angry, surprised brides-to-be who had ordered dresses and paid for them but had not yet picked them up.
At the Roseville store and other Alfred Angelo Bridal stores in the United States, closure signs adorned locked doors.
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The retailer’s website lists nine Alfred Angelo Bridal stores in California, eight of them in Southern California. In all, the website said 45 Golden State sites offer Alfred Angelo merchandise.
Complicating matters, as of late Friday afternoon, Alfred Angelo had not come forward with a statement explaining the action, nor did it provide any information to customers who want to pick up their orders, or obtain a refund.
According to a report in the Palm Beach Post in South Florida, workers at Alfred Angelo’s corporate headquarters in Delray Beach on Thursday were seen carrying personal possessions from the building. The headquarters was deserted on Friday, according to media reports.
Besides bridal gowns, Alfred Angelo also offers bridesmaid dresses and various accessories that are commonly part of weddings. Alfred Angelo apparel also is sold at hundreds of stores internationally.
The fate of its international operations is unknown.
Stepping in Friday to offer some hope of relief to distraught brides was Alfred Angelo’s primary rival – Pennsylvania-based David’s Bridal.
David’s Bridal dates back to 1950 and has more 300 stores in North America, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. It sells wedding apparel, prom wear and other special-occasion clothing.
On its website – davidsbridal.com – the retailer has posted a special link, bearing this message: “Impacted by Alfred Angelo’s store closures? We’re here to help.” Clicking on that link brings up an assortment of special offers for anyone presenting an “original branded Alfred Angelo retail receipt.”
The discounts include 30 percent off the current price of a wedding dress, 20 percent off the cost of bridesmaid dresses and the waiving of rush fees for short-term alterations. David’s Bridal said “alterations services will be available for Alfred Angelo dresses.”
The Palm Beach Post website also has reported that, on June 29, “Alfred Angelo was sued for failing to pay rent at its Delray Beach headquarters. The company’s landlord says it is owned $45,214 in rent and late fees, according to a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County circuit court.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Alfred Angelo is planning to file for bankruptcy protection and will hire a law firm to represent it in bankruptcy proceedings going forward.