Davids Bridal: ‘Be Your Own Bride: That Feeling When’
November 13, 2021
If you have ever bought a wedding dress, then you know that feeling when you find THE dress. There’s no feeling like it in the world. And, when your perfect dress is just the right price for your budget, well, that is wedding bliss at its best.
In 1945, David Reisberg was making wedding gowns. He enjoyed designing and sewing the gowns and would then sell them for a profit. Then, in 1950, he opened his first David’s Bridal store as a small bridal boutique in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 1972, Phillip Youtie bought David’s Bridal salon and by 1988, he had grown his investment to 18 boutiques. Many of these boutiques were located in department stores under the name, David Bridal’s.
One of Youtie’s childhood friends, Steven Erlbaum, joined forces with him and, together, they brought David’s Bridal to all 50 states. Erlbaum and Youtie eventually incorporated the company, readying it for the national market. The corporate headquarters are in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania and the warehouse is in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
Typically, wedding dress stores stocked only sample gowns in a standard size. However, in the late 1980s, Youtie and Erlbaum began to stock designer gowns, discontinued dresses and manufacturer overruns at below retail prices.
David’s Bridal was making inroads into the bridal apparel business. They were all about delivering a beautiful wedding dress at a rock-bottom price. Their stores were plain and warehouse-like, so brides-to-be exchanged comfortable surroundings for terrific bargains.
Over the years, David’s Bridal continued to grow. Small stores and mom-and-pop shops were going out of business, while new David’s Bridal stores opened up across the country.
In 1999, DABR (David’s Bridal) went public with over $104 million in assets and selling 8 million shares.
In 2000, the May Department Stores Company bought David’s Bridal, then the largest retailer of bridal gowns, from Youtie and Erlbaum for $436 million.
In 2006, David’s Bridal was sold to Leonard Green & Partners.
One in four American brides in the Unites States are dressed by David’s Bridal.
David’s Bridal was acquired by the private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in 2012 for about $900 million. The deal was valued at $1.05 billion.
As of 2019, David’s Bridal was owned by a group of lenders including Oaktree Capital Group.
In June 2019, David’s Bridal appointed James A. Marcum as the chief executive officer.
David’s Bridal stores can also be found in Canada and the United Kingdom.
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