Wedding dresses 'taken out the back' as resort firm closes suddenly
Wedding dresses were seen being carried out the back of an historic Blackpool firm this morning, after it closed its doors suddenly.
A sign posted in a window at Dan Kerr Brides said: "We regret to have to inform customers that after over 100 years of trading as a family business, we have had no alternative but to close down.
"The stock and assets are all being moved to suitable safe secure storage, and individual letters will be sent to each customer in relation to dresses which have been ordered and/or paid for."
Jenny Burgeen said her daughter's fiancé arrived at the store for a suit fitting at 9am today after unsuccessfully trying to reach staff by phone all weekend.
The 49-year-old said: "They were greeted with a sign, and they were emptying everything out the back.
"There are going to be a lot of people affected. There could be somebody getting married this weekend and now they may not have anything to wear."
Jenny's daughter Natalie, 22, now faces a race against time to get her expensive dress back and altered in time to wed hubby-to-be Ryan White, also 22, in Wrea Green in July.
Costing hundreds of pounds, it had been paid for and was being stored at the Church Street store alongside Jenny's veil from her wedding 29 years ago.
"She's distraught," Jenny added. "She was in tears and really upset. She has not had an easy time in the last five years and this has been a kick in the teeth."
Ryan, of Elaine Avenue in Marton, said he has been forced to shop elsewhere in a hurry after paying a Â£50 deposit for his and his groomsmen's suits, and said the pair's daughter, four-year-old Rebecca, will no longer be able to wear the dream dress she had picked out at the shop.
He said: "I feel angry and let down. There was no warning, or sign, or email. I got a text message on Monday saying, 'We are looking forward to seeing you for your suit fitting'.
"Natalie wanted Rebecca to wear the same dress as her and this one was almost identical. I'm just going to have to sit her down and tell her we are going to have to find her another one."
Tom Wheatman, of The Mede in Freckleton, said he paid around Â£550 for five suits - for him, his two best men, his usher, and the father of his bride-to-be Victoria Smith, 31 - for his wedding at Ribby Hall on Saturday.
The 31-year-old said: "I was meant to pick them up tomorrow. I don't know what I'm going to do. We don't have the money. I'm devastated."
And Sally Hedges, 50, said she paid approximately Â£1,400 for a wedding dress, tiara, and two bridesmaid dresses.
Her wedding to 44-year-old Michael Fairclough was originally scheduled for Sunday, June 4, but has been put back.
Sally, of Fordby Avenue in Layton, said she is now waiting to find out if she will still receive the dresses or lost her money.
She said: "I'm peeved. That's the polite term."
Dan Kerr, which also had a store in Lancaster Road, Preston, had been supplying dresses, accessories, and suits for the past century.
It was still being run by family members, but has now called in insolvency experts Leonard Curtis to handle its administration.
"We would urge customers to wait for the letters... prior to any written correspondence only, with Leonard Curtis at the above address, with any queries," the sign in the window added.
Other customers left anxiously waiting for news from Leonard Curtis include Susan Folks, 52, of Ivy Avenue in South Shore, whose son Scott paid Â£250 for her dress.
She said she feels 'fortunate' her wedding to 63-year-old Derick Barrow isn't until next May, and added: "You think with it being a reputable firm and a big firm you would be okay, but you never know.
"We are just playing the waiting game now. At least I have a year to go, unlike some of these poor girls getting married in the next couple of weeks."
More to follow.
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