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Alfred Angelo closed

Summary: With Alfred Angelo bridal chain filing for bankruptcy, thousands of brides-to-be are turning to a Miami lawyer to save their day.

Alfredo Angelo abruptly closed its doors and announced its bankruptcy, leaving thousands of brides hanging. There was no plan by the bridal chain except to leave a note on their closed doors with an email for a Miami bankruptcy lawyer.

  
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Attorney Patricia Ann Redmond of Stearns Weaver Miller explains that she received over 7,300 emails in just over a day from brides begging, cajoling, pleading, and demanding help. She said, “I’ve been prioritizing them by the dates of their weddings.”

The chain had over 60 stores that are now in the process of liquidation. Store managers were given the instructions to place a sign on the front window area stating “STORE CLOSED” with Redmond’s email for further information.

With so much pressure on those involved in weddings to get every little detail perfect, Redmond knew that she would have a wave of women freaking out. Often, women are on tight schedules to get their dresses right before their quickly approaching wedding dates. Dresses are harder to replace than flowers or a cake. She explained that she wanted someone to be there to help those women figure out what their options were. She said, “It’s good it’s a human being. I didn’t want to make people have to email the company and there be nobody there.”

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Generally, companies file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and are able to continue operating as if nothing has changed. In the background, those companies are working to negotiate with creditors with a federal judge supervising before any official closures happen. Alfredo Angelo went straight to Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Companies that take this route are prepared to cease operations and liquidate assets immediately.

In their Friday filing, Alfredo Angelo released all of their store employees and most of their executives working at the headquarters in Delray Beach. Headquarters had directed the stores to ship out any dresses ordered by brides that were in the stores but not all stores did that before closing. Redmond said, “There are still dresses due to brides in the stores. People are calling and saying, ‘My dress is in the store, and I can see it.’”



There has been no mention on the store’s website of any closing, leaving most completely surprised. The only indication of financial problems is from their “Get It Now or Never!” sale, boasting discounts as high as 80 percent for “in-store bridal gowns.”

Of course, some brides are handling the hassle with a little more finesse while others are putting on their complete Bridezilla attitude. Redmond stated, “Someone said: ‘You’ve ruined my life.’ I said, ‘No, I probably didn’t.’ One said: ‘I really apologize. I know you’re swamped.’ I really feel bad for the brides.”

Redmond told the Miami Herald that she had two pressing emergencies as of Friday night. Two brides needed their dresses the next day. One bride’s dress was in a Riverside, California store while the other was in Boynton Beach, Florida. Luckily for the California bride, the Starbucks next door confirmed that there were still workers at the store and agreed to meet the bride at the store upon Redmond’s permission. The Florida bride may be out-of-luck. There appears to be no one working at the store and Redmond was mailed the key when it closed so even if there was someone from the store that was authorized to meet her there, they have no way of getting into the store. As of Friday, Redmond was not sure what she was going to do.

With these two emergencies done, Redmond knows the numbers will grow as time moves on. A shipment of dresses and accessories worth around $1.2 million was arriving from China to the West Coast. Redmond was working to get a short-term loan so that they could obtain that shipment and fulfill the orders by the brides.

Redmond attended the University of Miami for her undergraduate and law degree. She stayed in Miami, eventually becoming a partner at Stearns Weaver and teaching law classes at the University of Miami at night. She noted, “I bought my dress off the rack” in 1975.

Do you think Alfred Angelo handled their bankruptcy appropriately? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more other wedding news, read these articles:

Photo: wkbn.com



 

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