David’s Bridal will stay in business

T-L Photo/MIRANDA SEBROSKI David’s Bridal at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville is expected to remain open after the company announced Monday it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Despite David’s Bridal filing Monday for bankruptcy protection, the Ohio Valley Mall store is expected to remain open.

The bridal shop chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which is expected to eliminate $400 million of its $750 million debt. This will allow the company to continue to operate its hundreds of stores in the United States.

Candi Noble-Greathouse, marketing director for the Ohio Valley Mall, and store employees at the St. Clairsville David’s Bridal said the store is expected to operate as usual.

“We have not heard any word that the St.Clairsville location will close or anything like that,” Noble-Greathouse said. “The store is expected to stay open and operate the way it has been.”

The store has not posted anything on its social media pages to alert customers to its situation; other stores have done that in the past when it came to bankruptcy situations. A Youtube video was posted several days ago, though, with Scott Key, CEO of David’s Bridal, speaking about the chain’s financial stability and it promise of operating normally. He did not, however, mention the bankruptcy filing.

“One thing will always remain the same: our commitment to our customers. Today, we announced a plan to financially reconstruct David’s Bridal, which underscores this commitment,” Key said. “After months of hard work, we have reached an agreement to strengthen David’s Bridal as a company while continuing to serve our brides as we always have. This agreement will allow us to guarantee our customers won’t see any change in the service level they have come to expect from David’s bridal. (We intend) to continue to operate all 300-plus stores as normal and service our customers and deliver all orders and alterations on time as promised.”

The business expects to complete the court-supervised Chapter 11 process by early January. Multiple reports indicate David’s Bridal has struggled to keep up with changes in the bridal industry, which includes more online bridal retailers popping up, a trend toward couples marrying later and consumers spending less on weddings. The store also has been slower at adapting to brides wanting to be more casual at their weddings, which has seen the standard white gown replaced by more informal dresses that might be worn on other occasions.

According to the official David’s Bridal website, the store started as a local neighborhood bridal salon in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 1950. It is now an international store with locations in the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom and Canada. The store not only features dresses for brides, but also attire for bridesmaids, mothers of the bride, and flower girls as well as jewelry and shoes to match. David’s Bridal also has a selection of dresses for other special occasions, such as prom, and does alterations to the dresses.

David’s Bridal is one of several stores at the mall in St. Clairsville to undergo bankruptcy proceedings. Some of those stores, including hhgregg, MC Sports, Radio Shack, Toys-R-US, Kmart, Elder-Beerman and Woodbury Outfitters, have closed their locations at the mall.