Two bridal shops close suddenly

Elizabeth Smith and James Frost.
Elizabeth Smith and James Frost.

Two Sheffield bridal shops have closed suddenly amid online competition.

Both Choola Bridal in Ecclesall Road and Blissful Daze in Glossop Road have ceased trading.

Elizabeth Smith, who gets married to James Frost in Italy in May, fears she will have to pay twice for her dress after spending £1,195 at Choola last summer.

James, of Wickersley, Rotherham, said: “Our dress is one of those the manufacturer hasn’t been paid for, so we have to pay for it again. We are flying out to get married on May 3 and it was only by sheer chance that a family member drove past the shop and this was brought to our attention.

“We are six weeks from the wedding and this was Liz’s dream dress. She felt the whole thing had fallen down. People have been left high and dry.”

The manufacturer has offered the couple a discounted price of £576, but they say they will struggle to claim a refund through their debit card as the dress was bought more than 120 days ago.

Choola managing director Ivan Allsopp-Pick said the company had yet to appoint receivers.

Most brides had insurance to cover the cost of dresses, and the ‘few brides without’ should contact card providers for refunds. Brides should receive letters soon, and suppliers were ‘keen to honour all dress orders’.

“My wife and I are devastated we could not keep the business trading,” added Mr Allsopp-Pick, who also blamed rising costs and online dress counterfeiting.

Blissful Daze has called in administrators after almost eight years. Three employees, including founder Carol Gyte, have been made redundant.

Andy Wood, of the P&A Partnership, said: “This business has been badly affected by changing consumer habits and the global increase in raw material costs. Customers were using Blissful Daze as a showroom to try on dresses and then going online to buy them. Sadly, this is another case of the high street being badly affected by the internet shopping phenomenon and, unfortunately, the owners of Blissful Daze could no longer compete.”

Mr Wood said any dresses currently in stock were being delivered and orders fulfilled.

The shop is holding a half price sale on remaining stock tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.