TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Getting married is nerve wracking enough for most folks, but one of the nation’s largest bridal store chains just found a way to amplify those jitters to a new level. Alfred Angelo’s 800 stores have suddenly shut down and the company is heading into bankruptcy court at a time when thousands of brides are waiting for their gowns.
“My staff has spent last night and today sending those dresses out to everyone,” said the manager of Alfred Angelo’s Tampa store on North Dale Mabry Boulevard, who would only identify herself as Barbara. ”This is the last that FedEx is picking up.”
News of Alfred Angelo’s sudden demise spread quickly through social media after managers of four stores in the Tampa Bay area started calling brides Thursday and telling them they had to pick up their dresses by 8 p.m. that same night.
Evan Penso’s girlfriend thought the deadline was Friday night. She’s out of town and sent Penso to retrieve her dress, but when he arrived, the door was locked.
“A friend of hers found out on Facebook and told her about it, but no one’s contacted her directly from what I understand,” Penso said.
Bridesmaid Sydney Santiago showed up Friday looking for her gown. Santiago isn’t sure what she’ll do if her dress isn’t inside one of those final FedEx shipments.
“I put a lot of money on it already and it’s a thing I’m only gonna wear once,” Santiago said. “Now, I have three months to find something new. That’s ridiculous.”
Another bride who asked us not to use her name, said she put down a $700 deposit on her $1200 wedding gown and was supposed to go in for a fitting this weekend.
Barbara, the Tampa store manager, wasn’t sure what would happen in that bride’s case.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” she said.
Barbara confirmed rumors that after 80 years in business, Alfred Angelo is declaring bankruptcy.
“We feel good about the people we met,” Barbara said. “For us, it’s about the journey.”
That journey now appears to have reached an end, but as of late Friday there was no indication in online federal court records of a bankruptcy filing.
Patricia Redmond, the Miami bankruptcy attorney in Miami who is handling questions for the store, wasn’t answering her phone, (305) 789 3553, today. Not surprisingly, Redmond’s voice mail is full.
Barbara suggests that brides email Redmond at email@example.com for answers if their dresses don’t arrive in a FedEx shipment by next week.
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