KENNEWICK — Longtime national bridal corporation David’s Bridal needs a buyer to say ‘I do’ after filing for bankruptcy and announcing the potential closure of stores across the country. The closures would lead to more than 9,000 layoffs.
The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 17 and notified the Employment Security Department of the impending job losses.
Bankruptcy filing records show that the company is in debt and is not making enough profit to stay in business.
The CEO, Jim Marcum, offered reasons David’s Bridal has not been able to sustain itself, including fewer engagements per year and significant changes in the wedding industry.
Studies suggest that the marriage rate in the United States has fallen around 60% in the last 50 years.
It’s also becoming much more common to have less formal ceremonies, and trends show more people are thrifting their wedding attire.
The company already had been struggling financially before the COVID pandemic and had filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2018. It emerged two months later after shedding $434 million in debt, only to be slammed by pandemic shutdowns.
“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 stated in a press release.
“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.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation rates in the U.S. have been at their highest since the early ‘80s.
All current orders will be fulfilled, according to David’s Bridal. Gift cards, returns and exchanges will still be honored and online programs like Pearl will continue as normal.
In the next few months, the company may close locations permanently and lay off employees, if no buyer comes forward. It is not yet clear which locations would be closed first.
David’s Bridal locations in Washington include:
- Kennewick, Tri-Cities Shopping Center on Canal Drive
- Lynnwood, Alderwood Parkway Plaza
- Spokane, Market Pointe II on Indiana Ave.
- Tacoma, Tacoma Mall on Steele St.
- Tukwila, Parkway Supercenter on Southcenter Parkway
This week’s bankruptcy declaration said about 25% of brides in the United States wear a David’s Bridal gown at their wedding and approximately 87% of brides visited the company’s website at least once during their wedding planning process.