Berketex Bride collapse: The women without a dress for their wedding

By Katie Hope
Business reporter, BBC News

Image source, Vicky Morgan
Image caption,
Vicky Morgan had paid £1,400 of the £2,000 price tag

"Disgusted and desperately disappointed," is how Vicky Morgan sums up her feelings about bridal chain Berketex Bride's collapse.

Its Leicester shop was the only wedding shop she'd been to after she fell in love with the first dress she tried on.

She had already paid off £1,400 of the £2,000 price tag for the dress for her wedding day next July.

Now the 29-year-old is one of about 300 brides left without a dress for their big day due to the chain's collapse.

"I fell in love with that dress. It was the one for me," she says.

Vicky says she booked a measuring appointment for December last Monday when she said shop staff reassured her everything was OK despite the Newcastle branch closing.

A week later the entire chain, which had 15 branches in total, had ceased trading.

The company advice line said because her dress was in process rather than finished it was unlikely she would be able to collect it.

"My only option now is to start looking for a new dress," she says.

Vicky is not the only one who's been left disappointed.

Image source, Elizabeth Rowson
Image caption,
Elizabeth Rowson's mum had paid £899 for her dress

Elizabeth Rowson had been told last month by Berketex that her local Birmingham store was closing, and instead she'd have to go to a different store for her fittings.

"I initially asked for my money back and was told my dress had already been ordered so if we cancelled the money would be lost."

She had ordered the dress at the National Wedding Show in February and her mum had paid the £899 fee in full by credit card as well as an additional £65 re-measuring fee.

"It was a really, really lovely dress."

Elizabeth has already started looking for other dresses ahead of her wedding in August, but is upset that she has to.

"I could have done without this. I thought I had already got the one. I feel really let down."

Insolvency practitioners Wilson Field, who have been instructed to assist the company, said they appreciated that the closure would be "distressing" for customers and would deal with individual queries as quickly as possible.

"Wilson Field appreciates that this will be distressing for the customers of the company and will deal with individual queries as quickly as possible, however we anticipate a high volume of calls and therefore ask for your patience in advance," it said.

Anyone who has purchased items that have not yet been received should telephone 0114 3491388.

It's a similar tale for Danielle, who is now desperately searching for new dress.

"It's all been totally stressful - it's meant to be the best day of your life," she says.

The Newcastle branch where she had ordered her dress shut down last month and she was told her dress would be re-directed.

"With less than six months until my wedding I now need to find an off-the-peg dress.

"Thankfully I found a lovely dress store owner not too far from me who I'm going to see tomorrow, she's also offered discounts to all affected," she says.

Image source, Hawls Holly Winterberry
Image caption,
Holly managed to get her dress before the shop ceased trading

But not everyone has lost out.

Holly, who is getting married in June, managed to collect her dress from the Edinburgh store last Thursday.

She asked for her dress to be delivered urgently after she saw comments on Facebook suggesting the firm was in trouble.

But she says the experience wasn't the way she'd wanted it to be.

"No one could come with me so I didn't get to collect it with my bridesmaids or have the shop teach me how to dress me in it on the day, or how to sort the bustle for the evening.

"I don't know what I'm going to do about alterations and fittings, but I'm so lucky and relieved I managed to get my dress in time and I've only lost out on about £20, not £1,000."

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