Wednesday 24 January 2018

Aisle take one: Bridal shop forced to slash prices

Barry Duggan

A BRIDAL shop has been forced to put all of its stock up for sale at knockdown prices after selling just six wedding dresses since it opened a year ago.

Adel Tuite (29), pictured right, is selling off her entire stock of 45 dresses and closing her business in Shannon, Co Clare, after just 12 months of trading -- and says there is simply not enough business to keep her shop open.

"The money isn't there. We are down about €20,000 already, so we can't afford to lose any more," she said.

After initially selling dresses online, Ms Tuite -- along with her business partner, Rory McNamara -- opened her bridal shop last October.

"Obviously, people want to try on the dresses before they buy them so that was the reason why we opened here. We put a lot of work and effort into it," she said.

"We worked full-time on an appointments-only basis for customers.

"However, a lot of the time people wouldn't even bother to show up or to keep the appointments," she said.

"It was a waste of our time. We have lost enough money at this stage -- it is time to sell off the stock and close down."

Now her entire stock -- 20 wedding dresses, 10 flower girl dresses and 15 bridesmaid dresses -- has an asking price of €3,500.

"Everything is on sale for the last week, we'll take offers for individual dresses also."

A full length, strapless wedding dress with a fashionable gold belt is on offer for €120.

"Some of the dresses in stock have 50pc taken off their original prices, and we are here to talk to anyone who is interested," added Ms Tuite.

Ms Tuite, who also works in the insurance industry, said it was not a good time to be attempting to sell bridal wear.

"It is most definitely a tough business to be in. You need to have the advertising to reach to the customers and that in itself costs a lot of money -- you need at least a couple of thousand for that budget alone.

"Advertising is really the key, but we just don't have the money for it.

"We only sold six wedding dresses altogether since we opened. There might be a little bit of interest in the communion dresses around September, October and November, and maybe a small bit again coming into the new year, but that is really about it.

"Unfortunately for us, we have no option but to go with a closing down sale," she said.

Irish Independent

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