David’s Bridal Again Files Chapter 11

David's Bridal feature

For the second time in four-plus years, David’s Bridal has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection, while planning to lay off more than 9,000 employees at stores and distribution centers nationwide and seeking a buyer for the distressed business.

David’s Bridal, based in Conshohocken, PA, listed estimated assets and liabilities of between $100 million and $500 million and just under 300 stores in its filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Hackensack, NJ. Total debt was between $500 million and $1 billion when the company filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2018.

The layoffs were indicated in WARN notices filed with labor departments in multiple states where David’s Bridal does business.

The company was founded as a small boutique shop in Fort Lauderdale, FL in 1950. Floridian Phillip Youtie purchased the business in 1972 and began expanding it to new locations. It operates stores in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

Laura McKeever, senior manager of brand PR, philanthropy and communications for David’s Bridal, said the company’s stores will remain open as it goes through the Chapter 11 filing process and seeks a buyer.

“We intend to fulfill orders without disruption or delay,” McKeever said. “Our customers should not expect to see any change in the unparalleled service level they have come to expect from our Dream Makers. We remain as committed as ever to delivering for our brides and customers and being part of magical moments.”

The company’s online Pearl platform and vendor marketplace will also remain open, and members of its Diamond loyalty program can earn and redeem points. Gift cards, returns and exchanges will all be honored.

James Marcum, CEO of David’s Bridal, said in a statement the company has taken “meaningful strides” in recent years to transform the business. This includes modernizing its marketing and customer interaction processes improving retail service levels.

“Nonetheless, our business continues to be challenged by the post-COVID environment and uncertain economic conditions, leading us to take this step to identify a buyer who can continue to operate our business going forward,” Marcum said. “We are determined to stay focused on our future, because we believe we have an important role in ensuring that every bride, no matter her budget, can have her perfect dress.”