David's Bridal files for bankruptcy protection

  • David's Bridal files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
  • The bankruptcy is part of a deal the retailer has reached with its lenders that will reduce its debt by more than $400 million.
  • David's Bridal says its stores will stay open during the restructuring process.
A pedestrian passes in front of a David's Bridal Inc. store in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. 
Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A pedestrian passes in front of a David's Bridal Inc. store in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. 

Wedding dress retailer David's Bridal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, as expected, grappling with a heavy debt load amid changing consumer tastes in the wedding industry.

The bankruptcy is part of a deal the retailer has reached with its lenders that will reduce its debt by more than $400 million.

David's Bridal said in a statement the company will continue to operate throughout bankruptcy. Customers can continue to shop in its more than 300 stores, and its orders and appointments will not be impacted.

The retailer it anticipates completing the court-supervised process by early January.

"For more than 60 years, David's has delivered beautiful, high-quality dresses and accessories for our customers' most special occasions, and the actions we are taking will enable us to build on that tradition," CEO Scott Key said in a statement.

"We are implementing our consensual restructuring plan from a position of strength and, with the support of our lenders, noteholders and equity holders, the plan will allow us to reduce our debt significantly while continuing to run our business as usual," he added.

David's Bridal said Monday it's received commitments for $60 million in new debtor-in-possession financing from existing lenders, along with a recommitment of its existing $125 million asset-backed loan, which will help it stay open for business during restructuring.

The bridal store was acquired by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2012 for roughly $1.05 billion.

The bankruptcy comes roughly a year after bridal store Alfred Angelo liquidated its business, another victim of the changing times.

Millennials now marry later on. When they do, they often opt for non-traditional garments. Newer online retailers like Reformation now offer brides more relaxed alternatives to the traditional gowns worn in years past.

David's Bridal made its own online push, buying digital gift company Blueprint Registry this past summer. It can be hard, though, for traditional retailers hamstrung by debt to build up the infrastructure necessary to support an expansive e-commerce business.