By Lenore Fedow
Conshohocken, Pa.—David’s Bridal has risen from the ashes like a bedazzled phoenix, emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after staring down hundreds of millions of dollars in debt.

America’s largest wedding dress retailer, which was acquired in 2012 by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rich for around $1.05 billion, filed for bankruptcy in November as part of a deal with lenders to cut down hundreds of millions in debt.

This month, the company announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware had approved its consensual restructuring plan and on Jan. 18, it emerged from bankruptcy, slashing debt by approximately $450 million.

The bankruptcy news initially left some brides-to-be panicked, fearing another Alfred Angelo situation. (The now-defunct bridal store filed for bankruptcy in July 2017, abruptly shuttering its locations and leaving many brides without a dress.)

However, David’s Bridal received $60 million from existing lenders and a recommitment of its existing $125 million revolving credit facility to keep its more than 300 doors open during the restructuring.

As of press time, a bright orange banner on the David’s Bridal website declaring “David’s is here to stay: our refinancing is complete!” takes visitors to a letter from CEO Scott Key.

In it, Key states: “Throughout this process, we fully delivered on our promise to our customers: Dresses arrived on time, stores remained open, and as a company we continued to deliver service worthy of five stars.”

Looking forward, the company said it is rolling out a number of perks to draw in more customers in the ever-changing niche bridal market.

It’s offering more options at lower price points and in a wider range of styles and sizes, with dresses now available in sizes 0 to 30. More of these dresses will be made available online as well.

The retailer also will offer a free online registry to customers after acquiring Seattle-based startup Blueprint Registry in August.

Additionally, stores will begin hosting events with wedding experts to assist in the planning process.

This month, the company also debuted new advertising to appeal to a wider variety of brides, including a television spot featuring a same-sex couple

David’s Bridal is now owned by lenders including Oaktree Capital Group.

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