The decision of a now-defunct bridal boutique to destroy rather than donate its unsold dresses sparked outrage among onlookers and TODAY.com readers. Now, the shop’s parent company has issued an apology.
Last Friday, eye witnesses documented the spray-painting and discarding of thousands of dollars’ worth of bridal and formal gowns, including a $6,000 Vera Wang creation, outside a Priscilla of Boston shop in Edina, Minn.
The chain, which closed all locations on Friday, sent out a statement to NBC affiliate KARE-TV saying, “Priscilla of Boston has always donated quality bridal gowns to a variety of charitable causes. We do not, however, donate unsaleable dresses that are damaged, soiled or in otherwise poor condition.”
Retail analyst and author of “Black Market Billions” Hitha Prabhakar suggests that this may also have been done to protect the dress designs.
“For some retailers, they’re really concerned with their merchandise getting counterfeited, so that’s one reason why they would want to go ahead and destroy these items,” she told TODAY.
Story: Destruction of wedding dresses sparks outrage, disbelief
TODAY.com readers were among those upset by the boutique’s actions. After we ran the story Tuesday, readers took to Facebook to express their anger, generating 342 comments.
- “Totally selfish and a waste!! Can’t believe they would ruin dresses, there are so many charities out there that could have used those dresses!! Awful!” wrote Megan Perez
“That is totally disgusting! As a result, I will NOT support David’s Bridal stores EVER AGAIN!!!!” added Susie Wilson Williams.
Story: Something old, something new … and something in flames
David’s Bridal, Priscilla of Boston’s parent company, heard the critics loud and clear, issuing the following statement to TODAY.com on Wednesday:
“Like many of you, we were disheartened by imagery of a small number of unsold bridal gowns being destroyed following a Priscilla of Boston salon closure in the Midwest. As the parent company of Priscilla of Boston, we fully understand the anger and frustration that many people are feeling about this occurrence.
“While it has been Priscilla of Boston’s policy not to make donations of sample dresses that are in poor condition, we recognize that some of these dresses could possibly have gone to worthy causes. David’s Bridal has already begun bringing together all of the remaining Priscilla of Boston gowns to evaluate them and ensure that they are donated to our charitable partners wherever possible.
“From all of us at David’s Bridal, we truly appreciate hearing your sentiments. We believe that every bride deserves a beautiful gown, and we will continue to honor that commitment.”
David’s Bridal announced last year that it would shutter all of its 19 Priscilla of Boston locations.
Tracy DiNunzio, founder of Recycled Bride, which allows people to buy and sell gently used wedding dresses, had expressed her anger when she heard about the dresses being discarded. Now, she hopes David’s Bridal will follow through on salvaging the rest of the gowns.
“It’s heartening to hear that they’re going to donate some of the additional dresses, but still sad that so many dresses were destroyed,” she told TODAY.com. “There are a lot of markets like Recycled Bride where dresses like these can be sold at a discount to help make the wedding day special for every bride. I just hope they really do the right thing with the rest of the dresses.”
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Priscilla of Boston