TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Alfred Angelo Bridal, a national chain of 60 bridal shops with a store in the Town of Tonawanda, closed its doors for good Thursday night, after the Delray Beach, Florida store filed bankruptcy. In addition to the 60 company stores, Alfred Angelo merchandise was sold at 1,400 bridal stores worldwide, including 44 outlets in New York.
Employees at the Tonawanda store, on Niagara Falls Blvd., were told to close the store, go home and stay home, according to customers inquiring about their merchandise, but a handful of dedicated workers was seen Friday packing up the gowns and dresses hanging on the racks, so they could ship them to their rightful owners.
Bride-to-be Christina Heim of Williamsville was so grateful, she brought the workers lunch after receiving her gown, “They are trying really hard not to think about the fact that they just lost their jobs, and they are really focusing 100% on their brides because they want to make sure that they have an amazing day.”
Future bride Rachel Matte showed up with her mother, in distress, because her wedding is set for next Friday, “I never got a phone call to come pick up my dress. I know other people were called yesterday by Alfred’s to come pick up their dress, I did not get a phone call. I cannot get a hold of anyone, the phone rings, there is no way to leave a voicemail. I have emailed, I’ve got nothing back.”
Rachel found out her dress is with a seamstress, and she made arrangements to pick it up, next Thursday.
Kelsey Johnson was not as lucky, “I need to know where my dress is, if it is in. It is crunch time, my wedding is 100 days out. I just want to know what to do from here.”
The Buffalo Bridal Association is offering to help those customers of Alfred Angelo, who are unable to retrieve their gowns, according to BBA President Michael Fantaske, “We will do what we can to help you. They have seamstresses, and if alterations have not been done yet, they’ve got seamstresses ready to go.”
Fantaske said members of the association can also offer discounts, and urged any of the brides-to-be who are not getting satisfactory answers to use this link to their website.
A competing national chain, David’s Bridal is also offering discounts, which are listed on this page of the company’s website. Managers at the Niagara Falls Boulevard location say since the closing of Alfred Angelo, they have been flooded with calls.
“We definitely want to make sure we can help out any customer we can and get the experience she deserves because it’s definitely unfortunate what happened,” said Sarah Crouch, operations manager at David’s Bridal.
A page on Facebook has also been set up as an exchange of information for the thousands of future brides looking for answers in the wake of Alfred Angelo’s closing.
On Sunday, a statement on the homepage of the company’s website apologizes for “the inconvenience and hardship”.
The statement says, “Alfred Angelo filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 14, 2017. As a result all stores and wholesalers are closed.”
It goes on to say Margaret Smith has been appointed the bankruptcy trustee and anyone with questions about their order should email email@example.com.
The company also says “We will post additional information regarding the status of dresses on this web-site as it becomes available.”