As most brides will agree, few things are more stressful than trying to plan a wedding. Everything has to be just right in order for that one day to be a truly special one. And for many brides-to-be, it all starts with finding their wedding dress.
Sadly, hundreds of brides across the nation were sent into a panic recently when retailer Alfred Angelo Bridal abruptly closed all 61 of its stores then filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. According to one USA Today article, store managers weren't even given advanced notice of the impending closures, meaning employees and brides alike were left shocked and unsure of what the future held.
Thankfully, not all customers will be left "waiting at the altar." Just days ago, the bankruptcy trustee for Alfred Angelo Bridal "filed a motion to resume certain business operations and use available cash [to fulfill dress orders]," explains a South Florida Business Journal article.
Chapter 7: A benefit for the business, a bummer for brides
While the exact amount of debt is unknown in this case, it could be substantial. If this was the case, then Chapter 7 bankruptcy was likely the best option. Although Chapter 11 and Chapter 13 are typically considered better options for businesses because they allow owners to continue operating while debts are restructured or repayment plans are determined, Chapter 7 gives businesses a "clean slate" they may not see for years to come with other types of bankruptcy.
Unfortunately, Chapter 7 bankruptcy can create problems for customers, especially those who put down deposits for orders for a product that might never be fulfilled.
As unsecured creditors, customers are generally paid last after assets have been liquidated. However, in the case of the Alfred Angelo Bridal bankruptcy, if a bride put their deposit on their credit card, it may be possible to get the charge removed, explains the trustee's motion. Though this doesn't guarantee the bride will get a dress, it does at least mean they are not out the money either, which is a small upside to this situation.