Alfred Angelo bridal shop filing for bankruptcy as brides demand dresses, refunds

Widespread panic continues, stores remained closed

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - It's supposed to be the most memorable moment of a bride's life but this week, it's turned into a nightmare.

We're following up again on the sudden closing of Alfred Angelo Bridal stores across the country.

Click here to read our previous story.

Angry brides who want their dresses are now holding the fire to the company, which is based in Delray Beach.

"It's just so stressful right now, I can't even think straight," said West Palm Beach resident Yadira Castro. "Very stressed out. I already invested so much money in this dress that I got here."

The only thing separating her from her beautiful $1,400 dollar wedding gown were locked glass doors. Her wedding is in just one week.

"Honestly, everything went to this wedding, to go buy another dress before this wedding is a nightmare," she said. "I was not called and my wedding is this coming Saturday, the 22nd."

Once again, more Alfred Angelo's customers greeted with 'store closed' signs Friday morning in Boynton Beach after stores across the country announced sudden closures Thursday evening, sending brides and employees in a frenzy.

"I couldn't believe it," said Carolina Villegas, who is planning a wedding in March 2018.

She spent $800 on a down payment for a dress she has yet to see.

"It just makes me feel like I've got to start all over again. Not only that but I have a budget for my wedding. And now it's $800 down the drain," she said. "Just puts more stress on something that's already kind of hectic."

Crystal Josephus, the mother of a bride getting married in October, said she didn't understand why bridesmaids were allowed to put orders in just days leading up to the closures.

"Very stressful. Weddings are stressful enough when you're trying to plan them," she said.

WPTV put in calls and emails to Alfred Angelo, which have not been returned. Various media outlets across the country also report similar silence from the company.

WPTV also stopped by the corporate offices in Delray Beach, which are now empty and off limits.

"It's just bizarre. In my terms, unprofessional," said Castro. "Especially when you're taking people's money, you're not notifying them what's going to go on with their dress, what's going on with the store?"

According to NBC News, around 10 of 62 stores nationwide have closed their doors, amid reports of bankruptcy.

An official filing has not shown up in federal bankruptcy court records.

But the company is being sued by its landlord for not paying rent and is in the process of being evicted from it's Boynton Beach location. The complaint shows they owe $45,000 in back rent.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is planning to file for bankruptcy protection and plans to hire Florida-based law firm Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson.

A note placed on the Boynton Beach storefront asks customers to contact Patricia Redmond, a Miami-based lawyer for the law firm, for further information. A check on her website shows the law firm's specialties include bankruptcy files.

The store manager wouldn't answer our questions either but did help a few customers.

"She said she got the call at 10 a.m. yesterday and from there on out it's just been crazy busy," said Castro, who was able to get in touch with a seamstress who had her dress. "It sucks for them because they're out of a job now. It's unfortunate, very unfortunate."

Paul Laurora is excited to marry his bride-to-be in one month. The elderly couple are both widowers and he said his wife has been crying non-stop since she found out the news.

"She's really beside herself. There's nothing I can do. What can I do?" he said.

Stores like David's Bridal are offering a 30% discount for brides and 20% discount for bridesmaids affected by the inconvenience. The store posted a link on their website Friday.

"It's a tough situation for these girls," said Jennifer Prakit, store manager for the David's Bridal on Okeechobee Road in West Palm Beach. "They asked us to up the staff because they anticipate we're going to be super busy because of this."

 

Madame Bridal at the Boynton Beach Mall is offering 50% off dresses for brides affected by the sudden closing. All customers need to do is bring in a receipt showing purchase or payment of any dress at Alfred Angelo.

"For brides who most likely have weddings this upcoming weekend and their wedding dresses are being altered and don't have it -- I want to help and provide them with a dress so they can move on and have a wonderful marriage," said Benny Jahan, owner of Madame Bridal.

Prakit has advice for brides worried in the meantime.

"Focus on the marriage itself and why you're getting married, and everything will be okay," she said.

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