House of Brides Owner Was About To Be Evicted
The owner of a Bangor bridal shop that closed suddenly last week was about to be evicted, owing about $10,000 in rent. Now, the landlord and many wedding parties have been left in the lurch.
The House of Brides closed suddenly on Friday, with no warning to its customers or the one employee who reportedly showed up for work, only to be told that she was out of a job. Many people have been affected by the closure, including wedding parties who paid for clothing they now won't get, and others who left their dresses at the store to be sold on consignment.
According to the BDN, owner Jill Hunter Smith received a 'notice to quit' on March 31st, because she owed more than $8,000 in back rent. She set up an arrangement with landlord Bangor Property Development LLC to get the amount settled, but the payments were never made. Attorney for the owners, Joe Ferris, refused to tell the BDN exactly how much was owed or whether any of it was paid back.
The sign is gone from the shop and owners say some items have been removed from the premises. But the phone number is disconnected, as is Smith's cell phone. Now, brides, grooms, and others are scrambling to replace the attire they'd already paid for but will never receive. The owners say, if they could, they'd make sure everyone got their merchandise, but there's no legal way to do that. For now, the contents of the store will go into storage.
Several area formal wear shops are offering discounts to those affected by the closure of the shop. Henry's Bridal Boutique, Blush Bridal and Formal, and Dream Dress Bridal have offered discounts to anyone who brings in a receipt from House of Brides.
In addition, the Attorney General's office says anyone who believes they are owed money or merchandise should call the Consumer Mediation Office at 800-436-2131 and request a complaint form.