David’s Bridal Files for Bankruptcy, Lays Off Over 9000 Workers Nationwide

david's bridal store

One of the nation’s largest wedding dress retailers, David’s Bridal, has filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey. The retailer will also lay off approximately 9,000 workers nationwide

The company says all stores will remain open for now, with associates fulfilling customer orders and online channels and digital storefronts still in operation. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2018 but was able to pay off debts in order to remain in business. Now, David’s Bridal’s future looks uncertain again, with the retailer reportedly eyeing a potential sale. 

Commenting on the news David’s Bridal CEO James Marcum described how the company had channeled efforts into optimizing its marketing campaigns and driving a more seamless, personalized customer experience, but pointed to the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing economic uncertainty on the wedding industry as a whole. 

Last year, in a conversation with RIS News, David’s Bridal EVP, chief marketing and IT officer, Kelly Cook touched on the struggles of running an events-centric company in the midst and aftermath of a global pandemic, sharing that, despite the many challenges associated with the current environment, “you cannot stop love.” 

More specifically, the retailer channeled attention into its loyalty-building programs, launching a system in which where not only the bride can earn rewards, but any purchases related to their wedding, with points accrued by guests, family, and friends, accumulating toward a free honeymoon – as well as other perks along the way. David’s Bridal loyalty program launched in December 2020 and currently has around 2 million members. 

Earlier this year, David’s made efforts to diversify its offering and boost its personalization efforts, launching Diamond Prom – an extension of the brand’s Diamond Loyalty program, targeted at high school and college-aged students. The retailer’s plans to drive growth in this area included a crowdsourcing model, allowing the same school to pool their points for a chance to win a free photo booth for their prom and other school events. Members of Diamond Prom were also entered for a chance to win a $1,000 scholarship.

The retailer has also turned to social media in a bid to reach a younger demographic, launching an interactive, digital marketing campaign via TikTok in the summer of 2022. 

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