Bridal shop chain closes, leaving bride-to-be without dress

MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) - Some brides-to-be are concerned about their big day after the South Florida stores they bought their dress from closed unexpectedly.

A pair of bridal shops have suddenly shut down, and now possibly 30 to 40 women are left without a dress for their wedding day.

Sanquaneice Hankerson and her fiancé are excited to get married, but now they’re dealing with a huge setback. “I’m looking forward to marrying the man of my dreams, and I want to be in the dress of my dreams,” she said.

Hankerson had been planning her wedding since she got engaged in January, and after trying on dresses at several locations, she came across Naomi’s Bridal in Deerfield Beach. That’s when she tried on a dress that the thought was perfect for the occasion.

“I actually found them by default, riding in Deerfield one day, and I went into the shop, and it was actually the very first dress that I found,” Hankerson said, “and I tried it on and I fell in love.”

Shortly after, the location in Deerfield Beach closed, so she went to the Margate location where she said “yes to the dress.”

“I ordered my dress in June, and here we are in December,” Hankerson said, “I should be picking up the dress or doing my fittings for my dress for alterations, and there is no dress.”

The Margate store, like the Deerfield Beach location, is closed and empty, with a “for lease” sign on the storefront window.

The landlord told 7News that they terminated their lease early.

“Devastated is an understatement,” Hankerson said. “I am furious.”

Hankerson called her wedding planner to find out what they could do.

“I went on Google, I went on Facebook, I went on Sunbiz.org. I tried to locate these people, locate where they are, and it was like they disappeared off the face of the earth,” said event planner Tawanda Sims.

The couple is paying for the wedding themselves, so this situation is disheartening. “I don’t know what to do,” Hankerson said. “I’ve invested my time, my money.”

Online, others have commented on how they have been affected by the chain.

“I hope that they are found, and if I can press charges of theft, because it’s $500 or more, this is grand theft,” Hankerson said. “So if I can press charges, that is what I’m going to do.”

7News tried to reach out to the owner, calling several phone numbers that have been disconnected, emailing with no response and even going to their home, which has since been sold.

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