Planning a wedding is already pretty stressful, and an unknown number of brides across the country have an extra and unanticipated source of stress: Alfred Angelo, a retailer and maker of bridal and bridesmaids’ gowns, abruptly closed its doors and stopped answering the phone yesterday.
The Employees Are All Gone
The Palm Beach Post, local newspaper of the company’s Florida headquarters, reports that employees streamed out of the building all day yesterday carrying boxes and plants.
Company representatives didn’t talk to the media, and accounts of people streaming out of the building carrying plants came from other tenants in the office building. Strangely, the paper recounts that the only two people left in the company’s former offices denied that they were employees, then asked the Post reporter to leave.
What About Customers?
The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is about to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and liquidate all of its assets. Where does that leave customers?
Reports vary. They might receive their gowns in the mail if their orders have already been placed. Or they have to call a lawyer. Alfred Angelo has more than 60 of its own boutiques, and sells its gowns as a wholesaler in 1,400 other retailers. All of the company’s own stores closed permanently at 8 P.M. on Thursday, with no warning.
A reporter with Atlanta’s WSB-TV followed store employees to their cars trying to get an answer. They didn’t respond to her questions about the fate of brides and their dresses.
“We call ourselves the front lines, dealing with brides, which can often be a stressful time,” an anonymous store manager told the WSJ. “And we represented the company the best we could because we love the work. But the company didn’t represent us.”
Customers have variously been told that their gowns will be shipped when they’re completed, that they need to contact one of the company’s attorneys, and that they have lost their deposits for gowns that weren’t yet paid in full.
Consumerist attempted to contact Alfred Angelo, but a call to the company’s headquarters wasn’t answered.
Are you waiting for a gown or gowns from an Alfred Angelo boutique or third-party retailer? Let us know what your experience has been.