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Alfred Angelo store closures bring losses for brides, businesses

More than 60 Alfred Angelo stores closed suddenly on Thursday evening amid talk that the bridal wear brand plans to file for bankruptcy protection.

Brides across the country scrambled to get to the stores before the close of business on Thursday in an attempt to pick up their gowns. Many others took to social media wondering how or if they would get their wedding dresses and/or bridesmaids gowns:

The corporation, based in Delray Beach, Fla., did not comment on the matter, but has retained the Florida law firm of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson to handle the bankruptcy case, according to a source quoted in The Wall Street Journal .

In metro-Atlanta, calls to the Alfred Angelo store in Perimeter Village, the only branded store in the area, were unanswered. But about a half-dozen other stores in the metro area that sell Alfred Angelo gowns were concerned about how they would manage outstanding orders.

Angela McIntyre, owner of Elegant Expressions in Griffin, has carried the Alfred Angelo brand exclusively for 18 years.

"Alfred Angelo is the first line I picked up and the very first dress I ever bought and I have a store full of them," she said. Fortunately, she was able to get dresses to all of her brides, but 15 bridesmaids dresses that had to be special ordered may or may not be fulfilled.

McIntyre has been in touch with company attorneys daily by phone and written communication in an effort to resolve the issue. They were not able to tell her if the orders were pending or shipped out, but did indicate that the corporation would be encouraged to fulfill as many outstanding orders as possible.

"I am fully prepared to pay (customers) their money back, but I am holding on to hope that there is final shipment," she said.

Refunding the money would mean about a $4,000 loss to McIntyre. That is in addition to a recent $1,600 order on June 23 that she placed for merchandise that she will never receive bringing her total possible losses to $5,600. That doesn't include the loss from all the stock in her store that she can no longer sell. "It is just really sad. It just hurts," she said.

McIntyre is surprised that earlier this week her contacts with the company revealed nothing of the potential trouble, telling her only that any buzz about the stores closing was related to a shift in the sales model as opposed to the company going bankrupt.

On Thursday, the corporate office was empty after a mass exodus of employees . “Everyone left one by one with cardboard boxes, plants. One of them said it. They were all fired today… It was so bizarre,” said an unnamed source to the Palm Beach Post.

Women across the country have turned to social media to with offers to give or lend their own wedding dresses to brides who were left hanging by the sudden shutdown of Alfred Angelo stores. Some former employees of Alfred Angelo stores took to social media to look for jobs at other bridal salons.

Because she has more than 200 Alfred Angelo dresses in stock, McIntyre has been getting calls from other bridal stores, hoping to she may have dresses for brides who will not be getting their gowns.

"Any bride that needs a wedding dress can come in here and I will totally mark it down," said McIntyre. "I have 200 Alfred  Angelo dresses in my store. I have had stores calling me and if I have it, then I am giving it to them," she said.

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.