‘An absolute nightmare’ — Alfred Angelo Bridal closing rattles local brides
With two months to go until her wedding, Laura Marie Damon, of Salem, was waiting for her bridesmaids’ dresses to come in.
And then Alfred Angelo Bridal in Danvers abruptly closed.
“It’s a nightmare, an absolute nightmare. Out of eight adult bridesmaids, only three have dresses,” Damon said in a telephone interview. “This is the last thing I want to deal with, I thought that bridesmaids dresses would be the easiest thing. ”
Damon is one of countless brides nationwide left scrambling after the Florida-based company closed more than 60 stores with little warning to customers.
Along with Danvers, Alfred Angelo Bridal also had locations in Dedham and North Attleboro.
A woman named Margaret Smith has been appointed the bankruptcy trustee, the company said. Customers seeking information about their orders are advised to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We will post additional information regarding the status of dresses on this website as it becomes available,” the company wrote. “We apologize for the inconvenience and hardship resulting from this event.”
Damon got wind of the store’s possible closing on Thursday.
“I saw something online in a wedding group,” she said.
She raced to the shop, where she was able to pick up one bridesmaid dress. An employee told her the rest of her order would be shipped to the address on file, Damon said.
She asked for a tracking number, or the name of the shipping service. Instead, she was directed to call the corporate office with any questions, Damon said.
She dialed the 1-800 number she was given, but it was out of service, Damon said.
She found a corporate office number, but that too, was a dead end.
“I used Google to get the corporate number,” Damon said. “Nobody answers the phone.”
Now, Damon said, she’s stuck.
“Do I wait and hope [for the shipment], but if I wait, I won’t have time — the majority of places take six weeks for dress. . . but how do I say to these girls who already spent money on a dress, buy another dress?”
Each dress carried a $129 price tag and a $15 rush fee. Damon isn’t sure if she risk waiting for the shipment.
She and her fiance may end up purchasing new dresses out of pocket.
“It’s asking too much to ask them to pay again. We’re too close to the wedding to not include them just because they don’t have a dress,” Damon said. “It’s the right thing to do.”
As news of the Alfred Angelo store closings, other local bridal shops have offered help, and even some discounts, to worried brides.
The Bella Sera Boutique in Danvers posted an invite for all Alfred Angelo brides on Facebook. “Whether your wedding is in a month or a year we promise to take care of you. Please call us or come in any time. This is not ok!” they wrote.
Angela’s Bridal in West Roxbury also took to the social network to reach brides. “We are so saddened to hear the news of Alfred Angelo closing and are here to help those brides and bridesmaids who have been affected,” Angela’s wrote.
David’s Bridal, a national wedding dress retailer with locations in Massachusetts, is also offering special discounts.
Nicole Lis, of East Taunton, had an appointment to visit Alfred Angelo’s Dedham store on July 19.
“When I saw everything on the news, I decided to drive by the store and saw it was closed,” Lis said via Facebook. “When I got home I had an e-mail confirmation . . .” of the appointment.
Lis called the situation “extremely disappointing,” and is heartbroken for other brides who are panicked about their dresses.
“Finding a dress is a once in a lifetime kind of deal, and once you find that, I can’t imagine it’s easy to do again,” Lis said.