Dozens of local brides to be are left reeling and scrambling after a national bridal shop abruptly closed its doors.
“Store closed” was what the sign on Alfred Angelo on Pleasant Valley Road in Manchester stated on Friday.
"I thought it was a joke," Alfred Angelo customer Lynn Tylec said. "I really thought it was one of those things where you'd look on the next day and they'd say 'no, just kidding.'"
Alfred Angelo had more than 50 stores nationwide.
"If you guys knew this was going to happen, why wouldn't you advise the customers," Alfred Angelo customer Katrice McCarthy said.
The sudden closure surprised everyone including employees, who say when they arrived Thursday, they were told they'd be out of a job when their shift was over. Eyewitness News spoke with one of the seamstresses contracted to work at Alfred Angelo in Manchester. She confirmed that she and others personally boxed and mailed every wedding gown that was in the store that belonged to someone, even if the balance wasn't paid. They're working on getting the bridesmaids dresses out as well, out of the goodness of their hearts, without getting paid a dime.
"To think they came into work yesterday and were told sorry you don't work here anymore, you don't have a job, it's so troubling," Tylec said.
McCarthy and Tylec should be OK because of the kindness of former workers, the seamstress Eyewitness News spoke with did say customers who ordered dresses that had not yet arrived at the local store may not be as lucky. The seamstress told Eyewitness News there is no way to get in contact with the corporate offices to check on the status of those orders.
Eyewitness News has reached out to the corporate offices for Alfred Angelo in Florida on Friday. The voicemail box was full and emails went unreturned on Friday.
Meanwhile, women, who were so close to their special day, said they were hoping they don't have to start again from square one.
"I already started the alteration process I should be just about done with this," Tylec said. "I'm really worried about this."
Department of Consumer Protection said there are “no open complaints at this time” against Alfred Angelo.
Any consumers of Alfred Angelo can file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection while employees of the bridal store, who may not have been paid, were asked to call the Department of Labor Wage and Workplace Standards.
Department of Consumer Protection officials said customers should have all of their paperwork from transactions in order including:
The chain posted a statement on its website that said "Alfred Angelo filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 14, 2017. As a result, all stores and wholesalers are closed. Margaret Smith was appointed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee. If you wish to be contacted regarding your order status once information is available please send an email to: email@example.com. We will post additional information regarding the status of dresses on this website as it becomes available. We apologize for the inconvenience and hardship resulting from this event. We appreciate your patience. Thank you."
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