TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Brides getting married this summer should begin shopping for their dream dress soon, as coronavirus is affecting the bridal industry.
According to CNN Business, citing the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association, as much as 80 percent of the world’s western-style gowns are produced in China.
Many Chinese factories have closed their doors as confirmed cases of the virus have climbed to 77,262 cases in the country, according to the World Health Organization.
The economic effects of coronavirus are beginning to be seen here in the Tampa Bay area.
Jessica Pardo owns Emelina’s Bridal and Boutique in Tampa. Two of the store’s four designers are affected, thus affecting local brides who need a dress now for the summer wedding season.
She recently received a letter telling her factories are closed.
“And so it has been hard to accommodate the dates because we don’t have any shipping dates as far as warehouses and productions and factories that are overseas,” Pardo said. “Right now they’re closed is what we were made aware of, so I would say the most recent dates are getting shipments in July.”
Pardo said her store still has inventory, as well as a local warehouse and one within the state. But if a bride needs a different size or color, special orders aren’t available.
Brides getting married later in the year may even be affected. Pardo said one of her customers is getting married in December.
The standard shipping time for a wedding gown is around three months, she said.
“She won’t be receiving her dress until possibly November. So that’s, you know, that’s way over – that’s double the time frame we usually give our brides,” Pardo sighed.
She urges brides who haven’t started looking for their dream dress to give themselves ample time moving forward, as she and many others in the bridal industry don’t know when shipping dates will be back on track.
“But even to call customer service when I call the designers, it’s definitely triple the wait time and they apologize. It’s due to that because nationwide, and I would say worldwide, these designers are worldwide. They’re reputable and it’s affecting all of us.”
Pardo confirmed she started ordering Quinceanera and dresses for prom season, which also may be affected if the coronavirus outbreak continues, back in December.
On a national level, CNN Business confirmed all of David’s Bridal factories in China are open, but the country accounts for less than half of the brand’s gown production.
Fourteen people are confirmed to have coronavirus in the United States. WHO risk assessment lists China as “very high” and the global level risk for the virus as “high.”