It’s a difficult time for the bridal industry as we hear news of Alfred Angelo’s closure. We’ve put together here, advice, official statements and what you can do if you’ve been affected…
While full details are still to come, a statement was sent from the team on Friday morning as law firm Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson confirms that ‘due to the confluence of various economic factors facing the Company, it has been unable to restructure and is left with no alternative but to liquidate under chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code.’ The email from the team reads:
It is with an extremely heavy heart and a sadness that can not be expressed with words that I personally write to you all today on behalf of not just myself but of the entire Alfred Angelo UK team. We have all thoroughly enjoyed working with each and every one of you, as for all of us, this has never just been a job.
As a team we have unfortunately found out this devastating news with no prior notice and are just as shocked and saddened as I know you all are too.
Together with all of you, the UK division was a vibrant and successful business, really going from strength to strength so the news from the US head office has inevitably hit us all hard and for that I am truly very sorry.
We have been under contract to not discuss any part of this matter and can assure you that we have no additional information than what you are already receiving. We are all no longer employees of Alfred Angelo with immediate effect.
By now you will have received an email outlining the bankruptcy notification providing you with contact information for the trustees dealing with the outstanding orders.
It has been my absolute delight and pleasure to work with each and every one of you during my time at Alfred Angelo and I sincerely thank you for that.
Our heartfelt sympathies and thoughts are with you all.
Of course this is a troubling time for Alfred Angelo stockists so retailers who have problems filling orders are encouraged to contact the RBA and BBSA for advice and support. A preliminary statement from the BBSA says:
The BBSA is saddened and shocked by the news relating to the demise of Alfred Angelo. Retailers should try to remain calm whilst clarity is established on what they may have in place to deal with any outstanding orders. Rest assured that all BBSA members will work with retailers, so reach out to them, they will help in any way they can to get everyone through this difficult and unprecedented situation. It is a sad day for the industry but if we pull together we can try and achieve goodness.
The RBA says: The RBA is both shocked and saddened at the news announced by Alfred Angelo overnight. At the moment there are still many unanswered questions which we have put to the Lawyer appointed in America and we await a reply on behalf of all of our members. We are disappointed with the lack of contact and information which is key to minimising the risk to both the UK market as a whole and each individual business. There is a Facebook Help Group, ’Alfred Angelo Retailers’ who are all pooling stock and trying desperately to help each other, which displays the great British spirit of our industry but this alone will not solve the unfulfilled orders many retailers now face. We have been advised that whilst American Companies are under due restriction with UK insolvency Laws, there are ways round this which seem to have been taken advantage of. As soon as we have more information we will update our members.
The Facebook group ’Alfred Angelo Retailers’ has been set up by Annabel Devlin of Belle of the Ball Bridals and Kelly Oram from Robertas for retailers to try to fulfill customers’ orders from the stock they have between them.
Direct Eastern Ltd/White Rose Bridal is also offering help and advice to retailers affected by the closure and in need of assistance fulfilling customer orders. The team is happy to explore ways of helping – contact the office on 0208 368 1500.
An email was also sent to Allure’s customers in a bid to restore confidence in the bridal industry. The company, who will be showing its latest collections at The Harrogate Bridal Show in September, is offering its retailers a 15% discount to any Alfred Angelo bride who wishes to replace her wedding dress order.
“We would offer this discount in conjunction with you offering a further 10% discount, thus giving the bride a 25% discount off the usual RRP,” reads the email. “We at Allure Bridals are very aware of how critical this closure is to our industry and the difficult market place we all find ourselves in. At this time we just hope that no bride ends up having her big day in any way spoiled by these recent events.”
House of Wu has been able to confirm that there are 22,000 – primarily bridesmaid – Alfred Angelo gowns in domestic and overseas warehouses. The team is working to obtain the inventory list and communicate the possibility of releasing these gowns to stores.
Within the next few days, House of Wu will know whether it’ll be able to release the existing orders. Retailers can email a list of outstanding Alfredo Angelo orders to firstname.lastname@example.org so the team can review and contact you once a resolution has been reached.
An inventory list the team may be able to help you with can be found here.
Emma Bridals is also ready to provide support to brides and stores during this difficult time, having made some special orders available to offer delivery in just 3 weeks if necessary. All gowns are made to order, not ex-stock.
With bridesmaids and flower girl dresses in over 60 colours and a huge choice of affordable bridal gowns, the team is sure any Alfred Angelo bride will find something they like.
Likewise, the team at Veromia has contacted all its customers who dealt with Alfred Angelo to offer help in any way possible. “We have also offered a helping hand to any Alfred Angelo stockists,” adds Vivien Felstein. “This unfortunate situation has shown just how the whole bridal industry has come together to try to support stockists. We are proud to be part of this.”
Richard Lill of the BBSA has shared some further information for those who have just received Alfred Angelo samples, read his advice here.
We will add to this story as we find out more...