Each bridal manufacturer has their own team of designers and owns their own factories. Designers create at least two full ranges sometimes four each year for their companies. Each collection is runway displayed then toured to the bridal stores for new orders. Stores ordering in from their samples have to wait five months to receive their new gown. If new styles do not succeed in the market place the will be quickly removed from the collection. All stores purchase their own gowns.They do not have them on consignment.
As the company owns their own factory, which exclusively produces their own garments, quality checks occur at least four times a year. Managers between company and factory liaison on a weekly basis and factory visits are made for all collections. With this system any minor problems are dealt with efficiently and quickly. The company also sources their own fabric manufacturers and the range of fabric and colour which maybe exclusive to them.
3. Why should I buy at a higher price at a store when I can buy online cheaper?
a. Purchasing through a bridal store gives a guarantee that a liaison source is available right through the organization to the source of supply, should any problems need to be rectified.
b. Correct sizing will be obtained with the expertise of store employees.
c. Bridal stores carry the true colour swatches for each supplier which will appear different on the internet.
d. Buying online can be a hazard. Any bride needs to actually try on many styles to see which design and colour suits them best. As no true fabric samples can be viewed online correctly colour can be a major problem. Also online no personal professional measurements can be taken. When dealing onlineoften websites have only an email address with no information provided on where garments are manufactured. Payment has to be made up front and there is no guarantee that the order will be fulfilled or delivered on time. Should the garment be unsatisfactory one has the cost of returning the garment and the difficulty of getting your money back.
e. Inferior quality fabrics are often used in copies of original designer gowns. Online stores invariably show the original designer photos not their own copies.
Companies employ agents to promote their product in assorted countries around the world. In New Zealand we have to purchase through Australia which results in converting our currency into the higher Australian dollar, this increases the starting cost which then attracts the 10% import duty tax, 15% gst and additional freight costs from Australia. Adding the store margin on finalises the cost point.
Companies we purchase from have a stipulated retail price that we must adhere to. They do not allow us as part of their contractual agreement with us to display on any website anywhere their prices. Contracts will rescinded and gowns not supplied if we do so.
No. Gowns are altered to the figure and height of each individual bride and colour is usually chosen to suit each individual. It is therefore difficult to on sell for these reasons.
We can offer a brand new dress for the same dollar amounts.
8. Do I need to make an appointment and what costs are involved?
Companies supply worldwide thousands of gowns, so orders are done in a queue system therefore to cause the less stress to the bridal party the orders are placed allowing for a five month (16 weeks) turnaround time. Orders may arrive earlier, but this cannot be guaranteed. Early ordering facilitates easier wedding preparations and co – ordination of entire arrangements. Suppliers regularly discontinue some designs to replace with the new collection; short notice is given to the bridal stores which could result in a very popular style suddenly becoming unavailable to a bride. Not a happy scenario so get in early!
10. Why can’t I change my mind after placing a gown order?
Once a bridal store places an order with a company their contractual agreement states that they must honour that order. Cancellations are not allowed. The bridal store must accept and pay for the gown ordered at all times.
11. Can I buy off the rack or do I have to order in?
As stores purchase sample gowns to order off, they do prefer customers to order in. However if the timeframe does not permit, some stores will sell their existing styles. Stores do not encourage the selling of their samples unless it is unavoidable. It will then take the store five months to obtain a replacement and inconsequence sales will be missed on that style.
12. How long does it take for alterations before the wedding and who pays the cost?
Bridal stores usually have a trusted professional dress maker who works with the store within a required timeframe. Alterations are normally done one month prior to the wedding. Some stores may add the alteration costs to the gown price others will quote as an extra cost at time of sale. Brides must factor this cost into their budget.
Most credit cards are accepted by stores or a three month layby may be arranged in some stores. Layby involves three equal monthly payments and failure to meet the arranged terms may end in the goods being placed back into stock. If this happens all money that has been paid will not be refunded.