Less than two months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, popular wedding gown retailer David’s Bridal will soon begin shrinking its vast brick-and-mortar footprint.
Acting in its capacity as a real estate advisor to the Conshohocken, Pa.-based formalwear chain, A&G Real Estate Partners said in a June 1 press release that 49 leases will be available via private sale this month.
According to a list provided by A&G, the stores are in: Arkansas, Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Pending approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey – the venue where David’s Bridal filed voluntary petitions for Chapter 11 relief – 229 additional leases will be auctioned in July, including the retailer’s shops in Deptford, East Brunswick, Freehold, Paramus, Mays Landing, Maple Shade, Totowa and Watchung.
The move comes as David’s Bridal continues to search for a buyer. However, Bloomberg News recently reported that the retailer’s creditors are skeptical the business will survive bankruptcy as a going concern.
In seeking bankruptcy protection in April, David’s Bridal cited shifting consumer preferences, the post-COVID environment and uncertain economic conditions as the reasons for its decision.
Although the retailer reported progress since restructuring in the wake of its 2018 bankruptcy, David’s Bridal said it is “suffering under severe liquidity restraints” and estimated liabilities at between $100 million and $500 million.
Despite the bankruptcy and layoffs of more than 9,000 of its workers around the country, David’s Bridal has continued to reassure customers that all orders will be fulfilled without delay or disruption.
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The company has more than 300 stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., with additional franchise locations in Mexico.
In commenting on the upcoming lease sale, A&G Senior Managing Director Todd Eyler said, “It’s part of a parallel marketing process in which David’s Bridal LLC, is entertaining offers for the company as a going-concern business, including certain brick-and-mortar locations.”
“Second-generation space is in strong demand nationally for a variety of reasons—including the high cost of buildout for brand-new stores and the lack of construction of new shopping centers,” Eyler said.
David’s Bridal portfolio includes inline, end cap and freestanding locations across the U.S., with store sizes ranging from 5,000 square feet to more than 15,000 square feet, according to A&G.
A&G Senior Managing Director Mike Matlat described the leases as “a rare opportunity for expanding retailers to grow their real estate portfolios quickly and cost-effectively.”