David's Bridal is looking for a buyer.
On Monday, April 8, the largest wedding dress retailer in North America declared bankruptcy under Chapter 11. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday (Apr. 17), the second time in five years, amid a general decline in marriage rates.
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In a press statement, CEO James Marcum stated that "our business continues to face challenges due to the uncertain economic environment and post-covid climate". This led us to seek out a buyer to continue operating our business.
If the Pennsylvania-based company does not find an interested buyer, they will liquidate and close their nearly 300 stores. The company has said, however, that its stores and online platforms will remain open for the time being. David's Bridal continues to accept gift cards, exchanges, and returns.
David's Bridal dresses are estimated to be worn by one in four brides in America.
According to Bloomberg, Marcum said in District of New Jersey Bankruptcy Court that the company had 100,000 finished dresses on hand and another 30,000 are still being filled.
Judge Christine Gravelle approved the company borrowing $10 million in order to continue operations even though it is in bankruptcy. Reuters reports that David's Bridal plans to seek an additional $75 million in bankruptcy proceedings.
The company announced last week that it would be laying off over 9,000 workers in its stores throughout the US.
David's Bridal has $4.4 million in its coffers according to a recent filing
David's Bridal currently owes $256,9 million.
David's Bridal estimated assets and liabilities between $100-$500 Million
David's Bridal has a debt of $434 million after filing bankruptcy in 2018.
David's Bridal's bankruptcy filing states that "an increasing number of brides opt for less traditional wedding attire including thrift wedding gowns."
The bridal industry is affected by inflation, economic uncertainty and changing fashion trends. But another factor is the fact that fewer people are getting married. According to a study by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, the US marriage rate is down almost 60% over the last five decades.
The pandemic has exacerbated this trend. In 2020, US marriage rates reached a 121 year low, with only 5.1 out of 1,000 people walking up the aisle. After the pandemic ended, these numbers began to recover, with more than 2.5 million weddings planned for 2022.
The post-pandemic marriage boom may not last forever, considering other trends in partnership. Pew Research Center reported that 38% of people aged 25-54 were unmarried in 2019. This is up from 29% back in 1990.
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