The December holiday season is when retailers are supposed to make as much noise as possible to attract as many customers as possible. David’s Bridal is more concerned with January.
That’s when the purveyor of wedding gowns and accessories wants to be done with bankruptcy so it can go after brides-to-be in force, and prove the business still has a reason to exist.
The months after New Year’s -- what the debtor’s counsel calls “Bridal Christmas” -- will be a crucial test as newly engaged brides decide where to buy. The company aims to emerge from court protection early next month and leave behind the headlines that might interfere with its busiest selling season.
The problem for David’s is that brides who are thinking about the next chapter of their lives aren’t interested in hearing about “Chapter 11.” To them, bankruptcy means the collapse of the business and their wedding plans. So the pre-negotiated accord with lenders included extensive efforts to provide brides with reassurance that all would be “business as usual.”
That includes spending on promotions and preparing new apparel designs for next year, attorney Natasha Labovitz of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP said at hearing Dec. 18. The bankruptcy has hurt business by a few percentage points, but nothing “dramatic,” Labovitz said.
It’ll be a busy few weeks for the company and its lenders, Labovitz said, with most professionals expected to work through the holidays.
The case is In re David’s Bridal, Inc., Bankr. D. Del., No. 18-bk-12635, hearing 12/18/18.
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