April 14, 2023
David's Bridal, the Conshohocken-based chain that sells wedding dresses and other clothing, is expected to lay off more than 9,000 workers in the U.S. ahead of a potential sale.
The company filed a WARN notice with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry this month stating that layoffs in the state would impact 15 stores in nine counties. The exact number of Pennsylvania employees who will be affected is still unclear, but the nationwide job cuts will extend across the company's approximately 300 stores.
The layoffs are expected to happen in three phases between April and mid-August, according to the WARN notice, which is required by federal law to be filed in advance of such actions. The job cuts are expected to impact corporate employees, distribution center workers and staff at retail locations.
“We are evaluating our strategic options and a sale process is underway,” a company spokesperson told Retail Dive “At this time, there are no updates to share, and all stores are open to serve customers.”
Founded in 1950, David's Bridal has struggled to stay afloat in recent years. The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2019, unveiling plans for lower prices on some of its best-selling items and an expanded online catalogue.
But ongoing financial struggles suggested more trouble this year, including the possibility that the company will file for bankruptcy protection again, the New York Times reported earlier this month. A sale could potentially be part of a bankruptcy filing, although the company has not shared any specifics about its plans. A spokesperson for David's Bridal told PennLive that a sale process is underway.
The pending layoffs represent the vast majority of the company's workforce, which the Wall Street Journal reported was about 11,000 in 2021. The company has some stores in Canada and the United Kingdom in addition to its U.S. presence.
It's unclear whether David's Bridal stores in Pennsylvania and elsewhere will close as a result of the layoffs, or if they may survive as part of a sale.
The wedding industry has rebounded significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when estimates say the events declined by about half in 2020. David's Bridal, which boasts that it outfits one in three U.S. brides, took on a $70 million loan as it prepped for a wedding boom after the initial public health restrictions during the pandemic.