UPDATE: David's Bridal files for bankruptcy
UPDATE: Wedding dress retailer David's Bridal has filed for bankruptcy, as it grapples with a heavy debt load amid changing consumer tastes in the wedding industry.
The bankruptcy is part of a deal the retailer has reached with its lenders that will reduce its debt by more than $400 million.
David's Bridal said in a statement the company will continue to operate throughout bankruptcy. Customers can continue to shop in its more than 300 stores, and its orders and appointments will not be impacted. This includes the Chattanooga store on Gunbarrel Road.
"David's Bridal will continue to lead our category with an unbeatable selection of beautiful, high-quality wedding and special occasion dresses in a wide range of styles, colors, sizes, and prices," CEO Scott Key said.
"For 60 years David's has delivered for our customers on time, and the agreement announced today allows us to maintain that tradition for many years to come."
David's Bridal's term loan lenders have offered $40 million to help support the retailer's operations throughout its bankruptcy.
The bridal store was acquired by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2012 for roughly $1.05 billion.
The bankruptcy comes roughly a year after bridal store Alfred Angelo liquidated its business, another victim of the changing times.
Millennials now marry later on. When they do, often opt for non-traditional garments. Newer online retailers like Reformation now offer brides more relaxed alternatives to the traditional gowns worn in years past.
David's Bridal made its own online push, buying digital gift company Blueprint Registry this past summer. It can be hard though, for traditional retailers hamstrung by debt to build up the infrastructure necessary to support an expansive e-commerce business.