David’s Bridal files for bankruptcy, announces potential layoffs
David’s Bridal has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and given notice that it may be laying off 9,000-plus employees nationwide, including at its location on West Canal Drive in Kennewick.
But stores remain open and orders are being fulfilled as the company looks for a buyer, David’s Bridal officials have said. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Chief Executive Officer James Marcum said that brides “are going to get every dress they’ve ordered … we will fill each and every (order).”
He characterized the layoff notification as something that’s required as part of the process, adding that there’s “still a lot of uncertainty … as to who the buyer is, and how many stores they may want, and those kind of things,” but noting that the company is optimistic.
Company spokeswoman Laura McKeever told the Journal of Business that staff reductions recently were made at the corporate level, but “this reduction did not impact store employees.”
“At the same time,” she added, “we are communicating with our (store employees) openly and transparently as we take steps to prepare our business for various outcomes of the sale process.”
She echoed that fulfilling orders on time is the priority and said “customers should not expect to see any change in the unparalleled service level they have come to expect from our (store employees).”
In a FAQ section on the bankruptcy case website, David’s Bridal says customers can still shop at stores and online, get alterations, use gift cards, make returns and exchanges in accordance with existing policies, and access the Pearl event planning platform.
David’s Bridal — headquartered in Pennsylvania — bills itself as the largest bridal and special occasion retailer in North America, with 278 stores in the United States, 12 in Canada and four in the United Kingdom. It also provides support to eight franchised stores in Mexico.
The company has about 10,000 employees, including about 2,000 full-time and about 8,000 part-time, court documents said. The layoff notification, called a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, lists 9,266 affected employees nationwide.
The WARN came through the state Employment Security Department. In Washington, David’s Bridal has locations in Lynnwood, Tacoma, Tukwila, Kennewick and Spokane, the WARN said.
David’s Bridal previously sought bankruptcy protection in 2018.
Since it emerged from that reorganization in 2019, it’s been led by a new senior management team that worked to stabilize and make improvements, from updating branding to launching new product lines, the company said in court documents. But it’s “suffering under severe liquidity constraints brought on by a confluence of adverse macroeconomic trends and industry specific headwinds, including the lasting impact of Covid-19 on the wedding industry,” court documents said.
Editor’s note: Updated April 25, 2023, to include comments from David’s Bridal spokeswoman.