David’s Bridal, the retailer that boasts it sells one out of three wedding dresses in the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday and said it “intends to continue exploring a sale of all or some of its assets.”
The company said it was planning to keep its roughly 300 locations open during the process, though it added that it would evaluate its store base. It also said it would fulfill customers’ orders, an especially sensitive matter for a retailer whose shoppers face the deadline of a wedding day.
This is the second time in nearly five years that David’s Bridal has filed for bankruptcy protection. On Monday, the retailer said it was seeking authorization to honor obligations to important vendors, maintain some of its customer programs and continue paying its employees’ wages and benefits.
James Marcum, chief executive at David’s Bridal, which was founded in 1950, said the retailer had modernized its business since emerging from its first bankruptcy in 2018. In 2022, a boom in weddings took place across the country — nearly 2.5 million were held, the most in four decades — but the pandemic had changed the way many people dressed for the events, which has hurt David’s Bridal.
The retailer has hired the law firms Kirkland & Ellis and Cole Schotz, the investment bank Houlihan Lokey and the investment firm BRG to assist with a possible sale.
“Our business continues to be challenged by the post-Covid environment and uncertain economic conditions, leading us to take this step to identify a buyer who can continue to operate our business going forward,” Mr. Marcum said in a statement. “We are determined to stay focused on our future, because we believe we have an important role in ensuring that every bride, no matter her budget, can have her perfect dress.”
Ahead of the bankruptcy filing, David’s Bridal started slashing thousands of jobs. It said it planned to lay off 9,236 employees nationwide, according to a notice that the retailer filed to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor, with layoffs continuing until August.