From prom night to the big day itself, David's Bridal begs to make an entrance. The largest retail chain specializing in bridal gowns numbers 300-plus stores in 45 US states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. All gowns are available off the rack and priced from $300 to $1,500 to meet most consumers' budgets. David's Bridal also sells invitations and gifts, veils and other bridal accessories, and apparel for formal occasions, such as church communions and Quinceañeras. Besides its brick-and-mortar locations, David's Bridal operates an online catalog and spotlights the latest trends through Style Council blogs and podcasts. David's Bridal is owned by the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
Change in Company Type
Clayton Dubilier & Rice acquired the company in 2012 in a deal valued at $1.05 billion -- a boon for turnaround firms Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital, which paid about $750 million for David's Bridal in 2007. Leonard Green retained a minority interest worth some $85 million.
David's Bridal operates stores in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and now the UK.
Priorities for David's Bridal include expanding its store base (including overseas), bolstering its e-commerce platform, improving the customer experience, and adding to its portfolio of high-fashion brands.
In fall 2013 the comapny entered the UK market with the opening of a store in East London. David's Bridal is looking to replicate its success in the US where the entire bridal party can be fitted in a single visit, by filling an unmet need in the UK market, which is dominated by appointment-only boutique shops or large department stores.
Under private equity ownership the chain has gained more than half the market for gowns $600-and-under and polished its image to appeal to more diverse pool of shoppers. To that end, in 2010 it signed an exclusive partnership with Vera Wang for gowns priced under $1,500. David's Bridal also holds exclusive partnerships with The Men's Wearhouse (formalwear) and Shutterfly (photos).
Looking to cater to an increasing number of online wedding planners and shoppers, David's Bridal has turned to its website. The company provides a Style Council online feature, which spotlights industry experts the likes of celebrity stylists and Latina magazine beauty and fashion aficionados. Its blogs, podcasts, and other online content allow David's Bridal to offer up advice competitive with XO Group (formerly The Knot). In the same space, David's Bridal has an online bridal dress collection to capitalize on the increasing number of gowns purchased through the Internet. David's Bridal offers a Spanish-language website for Latina brides, which also sells Quinceañera gowns and communion dresses for younger customers.
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