David's Bridal's struggles continue... independents can take advantage

In case you missed it… David’s Bridal missed an interest payment due on $270 million in unsecured notes, according to an article posted yesterday by RetailDive.

You can read it here: davids bridal misses debt payment

According to the article, S&P analysts believe that David’s Bridal is highly unlikely to make the debt payment and will be forced to restructure its total debt in the near future.

While this doesn’t mean that David’s is facing immediate closure, it does suggest that it will have to act aggressively in the short term to meet a restructuring plan, which could include closing of stores and slashing expenses.

Regardless of what action it takes, the resulting negative press will continue to question the stability of bridal retail in general, and play into the narrative that retail is dead.

From my perspective, however, this is actually good news … it not only confirms the weakness of big box chain stores, it also confirms the strength of independent retail, even those that do not compete with David’s price points.

This is confirmed by a recent report by the International Council of Shopping Centers, in which it states that 2017 saw more store openings than closures, that 78% of consumers prefer to shop in store, and that 94% of all retail sales are still generated in physical stores.

Essentially today’s consumers are looking for what a national chain has difficulty delivering: a personalized, enjoyable shopping experience with curated product lines supported by knowledgeable stylists in physical environments that are deeply invested in their local community.

Suggestions to help drive this advantage home:

-Print out a copy of the story for your staff, and have it available for your brides;
-Review your website/social platforms
-Is your testimonial/reviews page current and highly visible?
-Do your About Us pages accurately describe your community involvement, longevity, and philosophy?
-Are community and industry awards front and center?
-Review Yelp, TheKnot.com, WeddingWire.com and other review sites. Have all reviews been responded to?

 

 

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