Berketex Bride is UK's latest retail failure as traditional weddings prove less popular

The wave of retail failures in the UK is showing no sign of slowing down. Just a day after news that value menswear retailer Blue Inc is in urgent need of a buyer, a very different chain has thrown in the towel with Bridal Fashions Limited, trading as Berketex Bride, having ceased trading.


As couples choose less traditional solutions for their weddings, specialists such as Berketex Bride have found it harder to make money

The venerable brand, which was once a major player in the UK bridal market, had annual turnover of only £1.5 million in its latest year from its 15 standalone and Debenhams concession stores. It employed 80 people.

The company had been around for over 50 years but while wedding spend has grown fast in recent years, the changing tastes of brides and the entry of non-specialist brands into the sector had undermined its business. 

Stella McCartney is the latest designer name to offer bridal fashion, but more disruptive to the Berketex business has been the arrival of fashion brands further down the price scale. Brands such as Whistles and Topshop also making wedding and bridesmaid dresses mean that brides can choose something less fussily bridal and much more on-trend, at cheaper prices than those charged by specialists.

Brides have also been buying non-bridal evening/cocktail dresses for their big day, while the rise of internet shopping has also seen a thriving cross-border trade. And, of course, the resale market has made an impact too.

The company said its director wished to express his "sincere apologies for the abrupt closure.”

Insolvency practitioners Wilson Field have been appointed and said they appreciated that the closure would be "distressing" for customers and would deal with individual queries as fast as they could.

However, an administrator has not yet been named. "A Notice of Intent to appoint an administrator was lodged with the court on November 9. Once appointed, an administrator will look at the viability of different aspects of the business and other options which may include the sale of the brand, stock and the website," a spokesman for the company said.

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