David’s Bridal and certain of its subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. The company expects to file a recognition proceeding in Canada and a subsidiary of David’s Bridal expects to commence an administration proceeding for its business in the UK.
David’s Bridal stores remain open and the company intends to continue operating in the ordinary course, including by fulfilling all customer orders without disruption or delay. Additionally, the company’s online platforms, including its Pearl platform and vendor marketplace, remain available and accessible to brides for their wedding planning needs. Further, members of Diamond, the company’s loyalty program, can continue to derive value by earning and redeeming rewards, and the company intends to continue honoring gift cards, returns and exchanges at this time. To uphold its commitments to customers, employees and partners, the company is seeking customary “first day” relief from the court, including authorization to continue payment of employee wages and benefits, maintain certain customer programs and honor obligations to critical vendors.
Prior to filing, David’s Bridal initiated an evaluation of a range of strategic alternatives to maximize value for all stakeholders, including a marketing and sale process for its assets. In light of its liquidity constraints, the company was unable to finalize its marketing and sale process out of court and intends to continue exploring a sale of all or some of its assets pursuant to section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Alongside these efforts, the company is also strategically managing inventory and evaluating its physical footprint to maximize value and the prospect of a successful going concern transaction.
Kirkland & Ellis and Cole Schotz are serving as legal counsel to David’s Bridal, while Houlihan Lokey Capital is serving as investment banker, BRG is serving as financial and restructuring advisor, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt is serving as Canadian legal counsel, C Street Advisory Group is serving as strategic communications advisor and Omni Agent Solutions is serving as claims and noticing agent. David’s Bridal also retained Gordon Brothers to assist with inventory sales.
“Over the last several years, we have taken meaningful strides in our transformation to fulfill the needs of the brides of today and tomorrow,” James Marcum, CEO of David’s Bridal, said. “We have successfully modernized our marketing and customer interaction processes and driven our retail service levels to best in class. Nonetheless, our business continues to be challenged by the post-COVID environment and uncertain economic conditions, leading us to take this step to identify a buyer who can continue to operate our business going forward. We are determined to stay focused on our future, because we believe we have an important role in ensuring that every bride, no matter her budget, can have her perfect dress.
“We are grateful to the seven decades of brides and customers who have trusted us with the most special events of their lives, as well as to the dedicated associates and valued partners who make our customers’ dreams come true. We remain as committed as ever to providing excellent service, delivering for our brides and customers and being part of magical moments.”