CHERRY HILL, N.J. - Bridal gown retailer Alfred Angelo shut down all their stores across the country at the close of business Thursday and has filed for bankruptcy protection.
They operate more than 60 Alfred Angelo Bridal Signature Stores in the U.S., with locations in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Whitehall, Pennsylvania.
Their gowns and dresses are also sold at more than 1,400 wholesale stores worldwide, including nearly two dozen in the Philadelphia area.
Brides were in for a surprise when they were met with locked doors at Alfred Angelo stores Friday morning. Many worried brides-to-be expressed concern about their dress orders.
Frantic brides like Rachel Zoll and dozens of bridesmaids showed up at the Cherry Hill shop looking for answers and at first, seemingly getting none.
"I noticed a post that Alfred Angelo was closing, you hear these stories, and I am like 'no, it cannot be true,'" she said.
But it unfortunately was.
Bridal shop files for bankruptcy, closes stores nationwide
When Samantha Stapleton saw the Twitter frenzy this morning with hashtag #AlfredAngelo, she rushed from Williamstown, New Jersey, worried that her October nuptials will be ruined.
"We just got a call on Wednesday saying that a lot of girls' dresses were in and we have 14 days to pick them up," she recalled. "Now it's kind of like, 'is my color scheme going to match anymore? Will I get the same colors to match the shoes?'"
Inside, Action News cameras caught employees boxing up dresses and other items.
"So I don't see any reason why they just can't give us our dresses that we already paid for," said one customer.
Outside, the frantic brides and their wedding parties tried to get their attention - even calling the police.
Then they took to holding up notes with their names, pleading for their merchandise in hopes the woman inside would sneak their paid-for gowns out the door.
"I don't even know what I am going to do. I am probably going to have to get a dress off the rack," said another customer.
When an employee finally did come to the door, she stated she wasn't allowed to comment.
Off camera she told us they were told to lock up shop last night - with no explanation.
But then, some hope came for those waiting in the rain. Dresses that were in stock and paid for were handed out by the two good-hearted employees inside.
"I am glad they did the right thing," said Rachel.
Days after the store closures, the company left this message on their website:
"Alfred Angelo filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 14, 2017. As a result, all stores and wholesalers are closed. Margaret Smith was appointed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee. If you wish to be contacted regarding your order status once information is available please send an email to: email@example.com. We will post additional information regarding the status of dresses on this web-site as it becomes available.
We apologize for the inconvenience and hardship resulting from this event. We appreciate your patience. Thank you."
At last check, at least 7,300 women were impacted by the sudden closure, with many still unsure if they'll receive their orders on time for their weddings, or even get a refund if not.
To make a claim, impacted brides or bridal parties whose dresses are not in store, should contact:
Patricia A. Redmond, Esquire
Stearns Weaver Miller
150 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130
Phone: (305) 789-3553
Fax: (305) 789-3395
Make sure to provide:
- Your name
- Contact information
- Where/when the dress was purchased
- Method of payment used
- When you were expecting the dress to arrive
- Amount already paid
- Detail what was ordered and send a copy of your receipt(s)
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