SUNRISE, Fla. – With weddings approaching, brides-to-be who trusted Alfred Angelo Bridal with their dresses were frustrated when the company filed for bankruptcy on Friday afternoon and closed all of its stores.
Aaron Kusher was angry when he showed up to the Sunrise store looking for an explanation for his bride-to-be who found her dream dress at Alfred Angelo. The back was sheer and it had a church train.
"If I had a match, I would burn the store down in a second," Kusher said.
Patricia Redmond, a lawyer for Stearns Weaver Miller, helped the Delray Beach-based national chain to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in Florida. Kusher was with his mom, Mindy Kusher, who wanted an explanation.
"How could a bridal store not notify their brides?"
It was a question that brides who trusted Alfred Angelo Bridal were asking nationwide. The company has 60 signature stores and also sold dresses at 1,400 locations worldwide.
Company employees said they didn't know anything about the plans until this week. Many stores closed on Thursday without giving any warning to the brides.
Redmond told USA Today that the company would work to fulfill all orders that had already been purchased from Alfred Angelo and said that some of the dresses were sent by mail before the closures.
"It typically always gets better after the bankruptcy filing for customers who have goods that have already been purchased," Redmond said.
The company also intends to help customers with a list of seamstresses for alterations. A few bridal retailers, including David's Bridal, offered discounts to Alfred Angelo customers with valid receipts.
The company debuted their Truly Yours bridal collection in March at the National Bridal Market in Chicago. It was supposed to be available beginning in the fall. They were also planning the release of the Bella Vita collection in 2018.
They were also marketing their Signature and Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings, Sapphire and Modern Vintage collections.
Records show Janet Hoyt of Deerfield Beach filed a lawsuit against the company earlier this year claiming it had committed Americans with Disabilities violations. The law prohibits discrimination based on disabilities. The case closed in June after a settlement for an undisclosed amount.
Alfred Angelo was looking for a buyer and when they couldn't find one, they decided to close without warning their employees or customers. With so many unhappy, the Better Business Bureau was getting involved.
None of the explanations were enough for Jessica Ringler, who ordered a Disney Belle dress in Coral Gables. When no one answered her questions, she was emotional.
"I don't have another $2,500," Rindler said in tears.