GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - There are many unanswered questions after one of the world's largest retailers for wedding dresses, Alfred Angelo, abruptly closed all their locations Thursday, July 13.
Brides are in a panic over whether or not they'll receive the dresses they've paid for.
While there are more than 60 locations nationwide, West Michigan had just one, in the Grand Rapids area on 28th Street.
WZZM 13 sent a crew there Thursday night and sure enough, they are closed. The only explanation offered was a small sign that suggests brides and bridesmaids send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alfred Angelo employees themselves were told of the closure Thursday during a conference call. An employee at a store in San Antonio confirmed the company is filing for bankruptcy. The company plans on filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate assets according to the company's attorney, Patricia Redmond.
WZZM 13's David Bailey was able to talk with Patricia Redmond of Alfred Angelo. She says, there will be multiple proposals developed early next week to ensure that brides get the dresses they ordered.
"It typically always gets better after the bankruptcy filing for customers who have goods that have already been purchased," Redmond explained. She has 3 nieces who were married and totally understands the panic that's ensuing.
"I will have a list of dresses that have been sold and are on hand and we will go through them to get them delivered as soon as possible," she went on to say. Redmond noted she was getting a list of seamstresses so that those dresses also will be delivered.
Many of the stores shipped the dresses out to people if they were on hand before the closing of the stores so some people may receive them through the mail.
"We want to do as much damage control as possible," Redmond said.
Our sister stations across the country are also covering this story. In some instances brides were called and told to come pick up their dresses before the store closed.
"I freaked out," said one bride who made it to the San Antonio location just five minutes before they closed. "My wedding is in three months. We as brides need to know this stuff. This is our dream day."
The lack of communication from the company has many brides angry. WZZM checked the website this morning and it appears business as usual, with no mention of the closure.
As you can imagine, brides are responding with anger on social media.
In Tampa, customers were told that if they were unable to pick up their dress yesterday that it would be sent via FedEx. The same for brides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Back in Grand Rapids, the owner of Second Dance Bridal & Formal Consignment reached out to WZZM on Facebook and said she wants to help any brides that are left without a dress. Owner Stephanie Howard said, "We have lots of gown ready to be bought off the rack! I'm also willing to give a discount of 20 percent to any bride left without a dress!"
Howard can be reached at 616-240-7938. Second Dance is located at 321 Division Ave S in Grand Rapids.
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