David’s Bridal, one of the largest wedding gown retailers in the US and which boasts of selling one in three wedding dresses, is set to lay off thousands of workers nationwide, according to a notice filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.
The company, which previously declared bankruptcy in 2018 is said to be preparing to file for bankruptcy once again and will be eliminating a total of 9,236 positions across the country in a drastic attempt to save money.
The layoffs in Pennsylvania were scheduled to start on Friday and continue until mid-August, affecting 15 stores in nine counties across the state.
David’s Bridal, which is is headquartered in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania employs more than 11,000 workers across the US.
The chaos for the company comes just as prom and wedding season kicks off with the majority of couples traditionally scheduling their nuptials between June and September.
David’s Bridal, a major seller of wedding gowns in the US is to laying off 9,236 positions across the country between now and August affecting 15 stores
The company currently employs over 11,000 workers and has stated that it is evaluating its strategic options and undergoing a sale process
Even if its does file for bankruptcy, David’s Bridal say there is no danger in brides and wedding parties not having their dresses delivered or fittings cancelled. The company made a similar promise during their last bankruptcy proceedings.
The 72-year old company is the latest retailer to succumb to competition against online stores, which give customers more options and are often more transparent about prices.
David’s Bridal stores have in recent years turned into mere showrooms where customers try on gowns and test designs, only to buy them online far cheaper.
The financial straits the company finds itself is the a clear sign that despite the resurgence of spending on events such as weddings, it has not translated to equally buoyant sales at stores.
Consumers are pulling back on high prices items as they feel the squeeze of inflation.
David’s Bridal has not yet announced any plans to close its stores but will likely do say as it files for bankruptcy for the second time in five years due to falling sales
A company spokesperson has said that the company is currently ‘evaluating our strategic options and a sale process is underway,’ and that all stores are currently open.
‘Providing excellent service remains our focus and we are committed to serving and delivering for our brides and customers and being part of magical moments.’
However, industry experts believe a massive cost-cutting process is taking place with the company thought to be in crisis.
‘The scale of these layoffs suggest that David’s Bridal is in crisis mode,’ said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail told CNN.
‘It indicates there is massive restructuring going on behind these scenes with a view to conserve cash as the company prepares for either bankruptcy or a sale.’
‘The business in its current form isn’t working and the hope will be that a smaller entity will be more financially viable,’ he said.
The layoffs come as the company prepared to file for bankruptcy for the second time in five years, according to The New York Times.
David’s Bridal is one of the largest wedding gown retailers in the US and which boasts of selling one in three wedding dresses, is set to lay off thousands of workers
The Times also noted that the company might be looking into a sale as part of its restructuring plan.
David’s Bridal last filed for bankruptcy in 2018 due to declining sales of wedding dresses and growing debt.
The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 further impacted the wedding industry, leading to financial difficulties for the company.
The current layoffs at David’s Bridal are just the latest job losses across a host of industries including including retail and tech.
Walmart announced recently that 2,000 workers would be laid off at five warehouses across the U.S., while Best Buy is also cutting hundreds of store-level jobs.
Following the pandemic, consumer’s shopping habits appear to have changed meaning many retailers now struggling to stay afloat after a fall in sales.