Alfred Angelo closes; stores step in

Alfred Angelo ceased operations, closed all 63 domestic and international stores and its corporate offices, and filed for liquidation under Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings mid July. Though this action will impact hundreds of brides across the country, independent bridal stores are stepping in to help their brides.

Independent stores authorized to sell Alfred Angelo bridal apparel were notified in July 13 correspondence from the law firm of Sterns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson,which suggested in part that it is now the court appointed trustee that has sole discretion and authority as to the status and fulfillment of any and all outstanding orders.

Since that announcement, independent bridal stores have taken a very proactive approach, contacting their brides impacted by this action, and working with other vendors and designers to ease their worries and meet their needs.

Here's a list of manufacturers/designers offering assistance, as compiled and reported by Bridal Guide Magazine.

Brides that have purchased a gown through an Alfred Angelo store are encouraged to approach their local independent bridal salon, especially those brides with close wear dates.

Though the notification letter cited “the confluence of various economic factors facing the company,” many will chalk this up to the declining state of retail in general and increasing online pressures.

And although the details are unavailable yet as to how and why AA failed so spectacularly and so quickly, it is my opinion that a primary factor had to be the near impossibility of serving two masters at the same time: an international wholesale network of stores selling to the bride operated in conjunction with a multiple national retail store chain selling the same products direct to that same bride.

Sign of the times, state of the industry? Not entirely correct. What we do have is another national chain succumbing to a "confluence of economic factors"... many of which are not effecting the Main Street, local independent bridal salon.

But it is these local businesses, with deep connections to the community they serve, that now find themselves bailing out the big box store.

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