David’s Bridal laying off over 9,000 workers
By Parija Kavilanz, CNN
David’s Bridal, one of largest sellers of wedding gowns in the United States, is laying off thousands of workers nationwide, according to a notice filed to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor.
The notice said the retailer is eliminating 9,236 positions across the United States. In Pennsylvania, the layoffs are set to begin on April 14 and end on August 11 and will affect 15 stores in nine counties in the state. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notifications did not specify when the layoffs would begin or how many stores would be affected in other states.
The Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based retailer employs more than 11,000 workers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
David’s Bridal told CNN Business that the company is “evaluating our strategic options and a sale process is underway.” It also said all of its stores currently remain open.
“The scale of these layoffs suggest that David’s Bridal is in crisis mode,” said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail. “It indicates there is massive restructuring going on behind these scenes with a view to conserve cash as the company prepares for either bankruptcy or a sale.”
Saunders said he expects the company to close stores as part of its plan.
“The business in its current form isn’t working and the hope will be that a smaller entity will be more financially viable,” he said.
The layoffs come as problems grow for David’s Bridal, which is reportedly filing for bankruptcy for the second time in five years, according to The New York Times, which cited people familiar with the matter. The Times said the retailer could be exploring a sale as part its restructuring plan.
David’s Bridal filed for bankruptcy in 2018 after being laden with growing debt and declining sales of wedding dresses. It emerged from bankruptcy in 2019 as it continued to try to fix the business.
But a global pandemic in 2020 badly walloped weddings as social gatherings came to an abrupt standstill. The following year, David’s Bridal, which operates more than 300 stores, said it had anticipated weddings to return with a vengeance because of pent-up demand.
But the layoffs at David’s Bridal come amid ongoing job losses across retail, tech and other industries. Walmart last week said it is laying off more than 2,000 workers at five US warehouses and Best Buy is reportedly cutting hundreds of store-level jobs, according to a Wall Street Journal report Friday.
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