House of Brides Anticipates Gaining Customers From Filene’s Basement

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Filene’s Basement, known for its annual “Running of the Brides” event and markdowns on high-end clothing and other products, announced the closing of its 21 stores in 2012. This includes its downtown Chicago store located on State Street. House of Brides is exploring possibilities to attract these customers.

House of Brides

House of Brides

President Eva Buziecki states, “The 11th location is a new venture for us and we are thrilled to present it to our customers!”

House of Brides took notice to the latest casualty of poor retail sales. Filene’s Basement opened in 1909 in Boston, Massachusetts after founder Edward A. Filene saw an opportunity to sell the excess merchandise from his father’s department store upstairs. Discount clothing retailer, Syms Corp. bought Filene's Basement out of bankruptcy in 2009. According to the Chicago Tribune, the bankruptcy is the third and presumably final round of filing for Filene's Basement, a chain famous for its "Running of the Brides" wedding dress event. It is now closing over 100 years later due to competition from larger retailers and the poor economic state of the country.

Consequently, the “Running of the Brides” event, which garners worldwide publicity, is also ending its run. “Running of the Brides” is a Filene’s Basement annual sale at which bridal gowns are marked down up to 75% off the retail price. It had become tradition for brides to camp outside of the department store for days before the event to buy their wedding gown. The sale gained fame for its frenzy pace as brides and their parties would rush the racks grabbing dresses by the armfuls. The parties often worked in teams and employed tactics like wearing matching outfits and using whistles. The scenario was depicted in several television shows and movies.

House of Brides sees Filene’s Basement’s closing and the subsequent end of the “Running of the Brides” event as a loss of legacy in the bridal industry. As the oldest bridal name in the world, House of Brides is steeped in tradition. “House of Brides started in 1929 with its first store in Cicero, it is rooted in tradition,” states Industry Consultant Dale Buziecki. Since the modest beginning, the bridal retailer has now grown to 10 salons but continues to follow its original focus of service, selection and savings.

The bridal retailer’s team has been researching event and collection options.
The analytics found that women who shopped at “Running of the Brides” were budget conscious and wanted to purchase a designer bridal gown at a deep discounted price. President Eva Buziecki states, “The average bridal dress costs $1,500.00. The event would have dresses marked down at 75% off, which puts the $1,500.00 dress at $375.00. We’re looking to reach brides whose budget is in that price range.”

The bridal store is currently looking to fill the void of the “Running of the Brides” event. The bridal retailer is looking to meet the needs and desires of the customers who attended the “Running of the Brides” event year after year.

House of Brides' 11th location is under way with construction. It will be the first of its kind for the bridal retailer. President Eva Buziecki states, “The 11th location is a new venture for us and we are thrilled to present it to our customers!” Thousands of wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses, special occasion gowns, flower girl dresses, Prom and Quinceanera dresses will be available at the new location. House of Brides 11th store is opening in January 2012.

The bridal retailer currently has 10 Chicagoland locations. The bridal salons are located in Chicago, Glen Ellyn, Oak Lawn, Aurora, Orland Park and Schaumburg, the World’s Largest Wedding Store. The Occasions & Quinceanera Boutique is located inside the Schaumburg salon and houses special event and Quinceanera gowns and accessories. The Occasions Boutique is in Glen Ellyn and features special event apparel and accessories. Diva Bridal is also in Glen Ellyn and is the first salon in the country exclusively for plus size bridal. The newest store is the Quinceanera Boutique in Glen Ellyn, which offers gowns and Quince related products. The salons are open 7 days a week.

About House of Brides:
House of Brides established its first brick-and-mortar store in 1929 and has since grown to 10 Chicagoland stores and global E-Commerce website, Millions of Brides and their wedding parties visit our salons and global website for over 30,000 wedding and special event products.


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