CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Alfred Angelo Bridal sent shockwaves through the bridal and formal attire industry on Thursday when they filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and abruptly closed all 60 of it's locations, as well as it's national network of customer service and retailer contact.
Naturally, brides across the county have been panicked by the sudden closure, with some rushing to complete orders for dresses and scrambling to find everything they need for their special days.
One major retailer of the Alfred Angelo brand in the Charlotte area is among the many shops putting brides first and helping whomever they can to complete their orders, even with very little time to prepare.
Bedazzled Bridal and Formal, whose main location is in the Eastridge Mall in Gastonia, was on the phone all day Friday, calling brides who have been affected by the major brand's closure.
"I've been in this industry for 14 years, and I really haven't seen anything like this," said Bedazzled store owner, Raj Mirchandani. "We haven't been able to get ahold of anyone with [Alfred Angelo] since they closed."
Thankfully, Bedazzled has been a leading retailer of the brand's dresses and attire for years, and they have been able to help wedding parties as far reaching as Dallas, Texas who are searching for the right dress for their bride or bridesmaids.
No officials statement has been made by anyone from Alfred Angelo as of Friday evening regarding the sudden closure or the future of the brand. A statement released by an attorney overseeing the company's bankruptcy filing said, "The company will work with the trustee in every way possible to facilitate delivery of dresses on premises and in transit."
According to retailers like Bedazzled, that is not yet the case. Still, the brides come first.
"We're not really worried about the business and the finances. Our main focus is making sure the brides have the dresses they need," Mirchandani added.
"Weddings are already stressful enough on the brides."
In previous instances of dress manufacturers closing, retailers have been given months of prior notice to help facilitate a smooth transition. However, the rumors about Alfred Angelo only started trickling down through bridal shops this week.
Six bridal retailers in the Charlotte area that are listed as carrying the brand's dresses will no longer have the Alfred Angelo collections for sale:
- Bedazzled Bridal and Formal - Gastonia, NC
- Brideside - Charlotte, NC
- Concord Wedding Center - Concord, NC
- Bridal & Formal Gallery by Mary Ann Rock Hill, SC
- Hope's Bridal Boutique - Kannapolis, NC
- Avery's Beauty & Bridal - Chesterfield, SC
One Bride's Story
On Wednesday night, a Texas woman shared how she nearly missed getting her wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses. Kirstynn Stoltz said that she had just gotten home in La Vernia when she got a call from one of the stores in San Antonio.
"They called me and told me that I had to pick up all of my bridesmaid dresses and pay them off tonight before the store closes," Stoltz recalled. "They said if we don't get here by tonight, we may not get our dresses at all. We already put 60 percent down on the bridesmaid dresses."
Stoltz said that the employee told her she could only pay by check or cash. She had less than an hour to get to the store and luckily, made it with five minutes to spare.
"If I didn't, I don't know what I would do because I wouldn't have my dream dress," Stoltz said.
According to Alfred Angelo’s official website, the company is based in Delray Beach, Florida and operated more than 60 stores in the U.S.
Competing store David's Bridal posted on their Facebook page that they'll help those caught in this scramble with 30% discounts for affected brides.