Customers panic after Alfred Angelo Bridal announces it's closing stores
TUKWILA, Wash. -- Panicked brides were lining up, and banging on the door of Alfred Angelo Bridal shop after word spread that the retailer was closing its doors on Thursday.
Customers waited outside the bridal shop along Southcenter Parkway for over two hours, waiting to collect their merchandise.
"I'm just really frustrated," customer Victoria Vaughn, a bride-to-be, said.
Tukwila police say around 11 a.m., 15 to 20 people showed up outside the store and rattled its doors trying to get in because they heard the store was closing.
The employees inside called the police, who then had to tell the crowd that the store was indeed closed.
Police say employees who were told they lost their job chose to stay and help customers pick up their dresses.
"The employees of a bridal company in town arrived at work this morning to discover that they no longer had jobs and that the company was folding. They were instructed to close and go home," Tukwila police wrote on Facebook. "Out of sympathy for those that are now facing potential disaster on what is suppose to be the best day of their lives, these employees opted to stay the entire day without pay and now without any job just to assist everyone that they could."
Some people whose dresses haven't arrived were told how to go about getting them, but others were told they might not get them at all. It's also unclear whether customers will be issued a refund.
Kiah Lipscomb says she got a call to come pick up her veil an hour and a half before the store closed for good. She doesn't know if she'll ever get her dress now.
"Most women have dreamed of this day since you know, they were five, and to have that shattered so soon to your wedding, it's just unfortunate," Lipscomb said.
Alfred Angelo’s corporate headquarters and 60 stores nationwide have all shut down. The store in Tukwila has a "store closed" sign, and drapery hanging in the window.
"I don't know that I'm going to get the answers that I want, and I don't know that I am going to get another dress if that is what I have to do," Lipscomb said.
The company has reportedly hired a Miami-based law firm, and is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection.