Locked doors and a sign that read “store closed” greeted brides as they frantically rushed to Alfred Angelo bridal shop in Fort Myers Thursday, after learning the company abruptly closed all stores across the country.
“I was literally here 3 days ago and they didn't tell me anything," said one bride as she waited for a store employee to let her in.
Hours before closing time employees locked the doors of the Fort Myers bridal shop.
Store employees chose not to answer our questions; however, customers tells us the employees told them they also found out about the store closures Thursday.
“They filed bankruptcy today, that's what they said. They're all out of jobs which is pretty sad,” said Bride Mikayla Schutlz.
She like many others got a rude awakening Thursday afternoon; a phone call saying the store would abruptly close.
“She was like no, you have to get it today, or that's that," said Cassidy, who received a call from the store around 4 p.m.
“I actually didn't get a call," said Nancy Lofton, bride.
Lofton’s wedding is 100 days away. She found out about the store closures from her best friend who also bought a dress from Alfred Angelo. “They don't have any answers, I called corporate no answers."
She walked out with a dress, but it’s not the one she paid for.
"Oh, and a used slip," said Lofton, as she removed the dress from the trunk of her car.
The store gave her a used dress that is used for women to try on in the store. “They basically said that they would ship it to your home but that's not a guarantee. If they filed bankruptcy, I don't think any orders are going to come and they have close to $1,000 of my money," said Lofton.
Some had worse luck.
“They don't have my dress, and we have to call a lawyer for more information, said one woman.
She told four in your corner she bought a dress for her son's wedding, but the store couldn’t find it.
People like her were told to call the company's attorney for more help.
“Yup, that's exactly it,” said Kristi Lesher, a bridesmaid. “no tracking number, no nothing,” she added.
“No manager to speak to, no answer at all,” said Samantha Martin.
As frustrating as the situation was for the customers, many were concerned for the stores employees.
“They've been asking for weeks - because they knew changes were happening - if they were going out of business, and they were told no we're not going out of business, everything is fine," said Martin.
Some who were at the store within the past month, wonder why the company continued to take new dress orders.
“There's a lot of angry people in there right now and locking the doors, I think, is also poor business practice," said Heidi Demming.”
Several attempts were made to contact Alfred Angelo’s corporate office, but they did not respond in time for this report.