David's Bridal CEO talks exclusively with Action News after company files for Chapter 11

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola WPVI logo
Tuesday, April 18, 2023
David's Bridal CEO talks with 6abc following bankruptcy filing
Action News consumer reporter Nydia Han did ask David's Bridal CEO some hard questions, namely how can customers have confidence in a company that is filing for bankruptcy for the second time in five years?

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The CEO of David's Bridal clarified the "layoff situation on Tuesday, saying the company warned that 80 percent of its workforce could face layoffs, but that is not a sure thing.

His hope is that thousands of employees could, in fact, keep their jobs.

Jim Marcum, CEO of David's Bridal, is emphatic that brides are the company's first priority and they can count on the company to deliver their orders without disruption or delay.

But Action News consumer reporter Nydia Han did ask Marcum some hard questions, namely how can customers have confidence in a company that is filing for bankruptcy for the second time in five years?

"Many brides are losing confidence. What is your message to them?" asked Han.

"We will deliver to those brides every dress and we've made a commitment of fulfilling," Marcum said.

SEE ALSO: What does the David's Bridal bankruptcy mean for brides-to-be?

David's Bridal, one of the largest sellers of wedding gowns in the United States, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"You are exploring a sale so how can you have such confidence?" asked Han.

"Even though we may not have total clarity on who that owner will be at this point, it doesn't change the mission," he said. "All through COVID and that prior bankruptcy, we never missed a dress to an event."

"You've put out a WARN notice that 9,240 employees could get laid off?" Han said.

"Yes we did," he said. "We warned 9,200 employees, and it was a legal requirement, we warned them that their job may be at risk. We did not lay off 9,200 employees."

He goes on to clarify that he isn't certain if there will be layoffs, or how many. He said that depends on the outcome of the sale process.

"We pray that it doesn't go there," he said.

SEE ALSO: 'Crisis mode': David's Bridal laying off over 9K workers nationwide

Han asked him how the pandemic played a role.

"If the pandemic had not happened would David's Bridal be out of bankruptcy?" she asked.

"One hundred percent I believe that," he said.

"Do you see David's Bridal ever really flipping its business model such that it is mostly online?" Han asked.

"I think a hybrid. It's an interesting fact when COVID hit and all the stores shut, online business grew, no doubt. As soon as those stores opened back up, online business audits went back to its historical level and those brides came right back into the store," he said. "Ninty-percent of all brides will book an appointment right? And when they come in our store, we are -- our conversion rate we call it right -- seventy percent of those brides will find what she wants and make a purchase."

Marcum says the company transformed and modernized after its 2018 bankruptcy filing, but the prolonged pandemic put too big of a pause on progress.

So far, 120 employees, mostly on the corporate level, have been laid off. Marcum expects to have more certain answers about future layoffs and possible store closures by mid-June.