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Coronavirus affecting bridal gown industry

Bridal shop owner says 80 percent of wedding dresses made in China, advises brides order their gowns early
Posted at 8:05 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 20:05:59-05

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Adrienne Wissner said she recommends that brides order their dresses 9-12 months before their wedding.

However, lately she been advising her customers at Memories Bridal and Evening Wear to order their dresses as early as they can, she said.

“We usually say if you find the dress you love, get it,” Wissner said during an interview with Fox 17 on Thursday. “That way you don’t have to worry about there being any delays down the road, whether it be the coronavirus or anything else that can happen that's just out of our control.”

Wissner said the coronavirus hasn’t had a major impact on her customers but she is seeing a delay in orders. Designers aren’t giving shop owners quick delivery options like they typically do.

“Eighty percent of wedding gowns are made in China,” Wissner said. “So anything that affects our factories in China will ultimately affect us and it has caused a slowed down on some dresses.”

Wissner said she belongs to a network of bridal gown shop owners who have been monitoring the virus for months and they discuss the best ways to help their customers.

Some of the owners in the network are being hit harder by the virus than others because their designers haven’t opened their factories yet, she said.

“This time of year, January and February, a lot of our factories will close for two weeks normally. They just take a holiday over the Chinese New Year time,” Wissner said. “But because of the coronavirus the [Chinese] government required them to stay closed an additional few weeks.”

Wissner said at her shop they’ve been adding ‘extra time into their delivery estimates.’ In the meantime they’re going to continue to keep a close eye on the coronavirus.

She recommends any customer who’s worried about their dress to keep in contact with their shop regularly.

“If you’re concerned, if you’re worried please reach out to your store,” Wissner said. “We want to make sure you understand what’s going on because the more you know, the more you can be prepared and be ready to roll if there’s anything that needs to change.”