Pennsylvania Retailer's Distress Deepens: Company Speeds Up Layoffs and Store Closures

Ash Jurberg

Hope for the revival of this Pennsylvania based retailer seems to be fading.
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Last month I reported on the struggles of the popular Pennsylvania-based business David's Bridal.

Despite selling one out of every three wedding dresses in the United States and a booming wedding industry, bridal retailer David's Bridal announced that it would be laying off 9,326 employees.

There have been some recent developments; unfortunately, they aren't very positive.

Let's take a quick look.

David's distress

In early April, David's Bridal filed a WARN notice in Pennsylvania to officially advise of staff layoffs.

While there was no mention of the number of employees in Pennsylvania who will lose their jobs, it noted, " 15 stores across nine counties will be impacted. Stores in counties such as Allegheny, Bucks, and Montgomery are mentioned."

We are evaluating our strategic options and a sale process is underway. At this time, there are no updates to share, and all stores are open to serve customers.” Company spokesperson.

The Pennsylvania layoffs were to be staged over several months, and stores closed between June 23 and August 11.

The latest update

Bloomberg has provided an update from the attorney for David's Bridal creditors, which states that it is doubtful David’s Bridal LLC will survive bankruptcy as a going concern.

The article says:

The company’s bankruptcy is “very, very bleak,” because of a variety of challenges, including changing cultural norms and values, said Bradford Sandler, a lawyer speaking on behalf of a committee of the retailer’s unsecured creditors. It’s possible David’s lenders won’t be repaid in full, Sandler said, raising questions about how much junior creditors may recover. The retailer owes lenders about $257 million, according to an April court filing. 

Updated WARN notices followed this in two states, advising of accelerated job losses and store closures.

A WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) letter filed in Ohio advised the termination period has now been moved up to between June 23 and June 30, and all of its stores in the state would be closed. A similar notice was filed in Wisconsin.

Andrea Dauphinee, the senior vice president of human resources for David's Bridal, said this was "due to the various requirements recently imposed by the bankruptcy court to close locations sooner."

While no updates have been given in Pennsylvania, it would be no surprise if the stores within Pennsylvania closed sooner. There could also potentially be accelerated job cuts at David’s Bridal’s headquarters in the Conshohocken section of Whitemarsh Township.

The retail apocalypse

David’s Bridal follows several large retail businesses that have faced financial difficulties.

Over the last two months, Bed Bath & Beyond, Party City, and Tuesday Morning have filed for bankruptcy, while other major retailers such as Walmart and Macy's have closed stores. There are predictions over 50,000 will close by 2028. According to Insider, already in 2023, "nearly two-dozen companies have already announced layoffs impacting hundreds, sometimes thousands of employees." 

Your thoughts

Do these layoffs affect you? Do you believe the government should offer these businesses more financial support? Are you concerned about those people who will lose their jobs? Do you fear we could be heading towards a recession?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments below and share this article on social media so more people can join the discussion.

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