Last month, wedding and special occasion dress maker Alfred Angelo filed for bankruptcy and abruptly closed all of its stores, with some customers’ dresses still inside. The company’s bankruptcy trustee has now announced that if customers haven’t yet received their dresses, they never will.
“Logistical and financial strain”
“While we have been successful in obtaining customer records and delivering many dresses and accessories for customers all over the country, even after the bankruptcy filing date, it has now become apparent that the logistical and financial strain of fulfilling each and every open order makes continuing that course of action no longer possible,” the bankruptcy trustee said in a statement on what used to be the company website.
The financial strain that the company’s under is considerable. We’ll be digging into the paperwork more later, but in its bankruptcy petition filed in federal court [PDF], the company said that it has $3.9 million in money and personal property (like office supplies and business equipment) and $78.3 million in debt.
How to get your money back
The company is asking any customers who made payments and are still waiting for their dresses to file as creditors in the bankruptcy proceedings.
Don’t do that first, especially if you’ve ordered your dress in the last few months: It could take a very long time to get money from the bankruptcy proceedings, and unless the court takes special action to put customers at the front of that line, the secured creditors will be paid first.
Instead, figure out what method of payment you used. If it was a credit or debit card, contact your bank to find out what your options are for reversing the charges. This will differ according to your bank and card type. (When you’ve completed this process, let us know how it went, whether your request is approved or not.)
If you ordered from a boutique that’s an Alfred Angelo wholesaler, check with the store about what to do.
Maybe promising news for future brides
If your wedding is farther out, we wouldn’t be surprised to see giant sample and liquidation sales of dresses that were waiting to be shipped and current inventory from the Alfred Angelo stores that closed. The company lists millions of dollars’ worth of raw materials for gowns and finished gowns among its assets, and those will have to be sold somewhere.
Customers who were waiting for their dresses now, though, are not very happy about the news. People are also deploying social media to match gently used bridesmaid and wedding dresses with orders that will never be filled, using the #dressmatchmaker hashtag.