David’s Bridal, one of the largest retailers of wedding dresses in the United States, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in five years. The Pennsylvania-based company announced its decision on Monday morning, stating that it will continue a sale process for the company while stores remain open and fulfilling orders for brides without disruption.
The company first filed for bankruptcy in November 2018, wiping out more than $400 million in long-term debt. It emerged from bankruptcy three months later with a revamped marketing plan targeting millennial brides. However, David’s Bridal has continued to struggle, announcing plans to cut at least 9,000 jobs across the U.S. just days before filing for bankruptcy again. David’s Bridal was founded in 1950 as a small bridal salon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
South Floridian entrepreneur Phil Youtie purchased the salon in 1972 and expanded the business to 18 boutiques by 1988. Today, the company operates around 300 stores across the U.S. and claims to sell one in every three bridal gowns in the country. Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to stay in business and restructure its obligations. In this case, David’s Bridal is looking to sell the company while continuing to operate its stores and fulfill orders for brides.
The company has assured customers that store credits will be honored, gift cards will be accepted, and returns and exchanges can be submitted in accordance with existing policies. Despite the challenges faced by David’s Bridal, CEO James Marcum stated that the company has made meaningful strides in transforming the business to fulfill the needs of modern brides. However, lingering challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertain economic conditions have led the company to take this step in order to find a buyer who can continue to operate the business going forward.