THE owners of a chain of bridal stores which shut suddenly say they still delivering dresses and plan to meet current orders – if possible.
Around 10 staff were made redundant and the family-owned company’s outlets in Chester, Southport, Tarleton and Preston also closed.
One bride described how she had been calling the shop but had no answer to so went down there only to find it shut with a note on the door.
A groom-to-be was also reported to have confronted shop owners over his fiancee’s dress, leading to police being called.
Shocked staff members – who themselves had lost their jobs – told the ECHO they were devastated for their customers. One said: “I took £1,000 in cash on Thursday off a girl who was paying the rest of her deposit on a £2,000 gown. I would never have taken that money if I knew they were shutting the shop.”
Following the closure, a statement from the company said their bank and credit card processors had “made it impossible for us to continue trading” and added: “This has come as a shock to us as we did not expect to be put in the situation of having to close the business.”
They said their bank had refused to increase their overdraft and the company processing their credit card payments had demanded “an extra £70,000 cash security” to continue taking the payments.
It said: “Taken together with the general downturn in retail sales from which the bridal industry is not immune, we had very little choice but to instruct insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor.
“The liquidators agreed that in order to secure the dresses that were already in our stores for forthcoming weddings and for which brides have paid that we could remove them to a place of secure storage and contact the brides to arrange delivery.”
The company says it is now contacting brides-to-be whose weddings are imminent – and had delivered six dresses – and added: “It is our intention, if possible, to fulfil all the current orders we have.
“However, this requires the agreement from our suppliers, with whom we will shortly be entering into discussions with.
“However, over the last few days our priority has been getting dresses to brides.”
An update on the company website “categorically denied” reports that dresses had been removed “for personal gain”.
It said more deliveries of dresses would take place this week.