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Friday, August 24, 2007

Dirty Little Secret

We were just at one of our our bridal vendors the other day discussing the difficulty of getting customers, who order their dresses way in advance, to pick up in a timely manner when he suggested the solution that we delay ordering the dress like many other retailers. Sounds shocking doesn't it? So here's what he's suggesting, a bride orders a dress in let's say June for a wedding in July of next year, the store holds the order until January so the dress can arrive in-store around May to June. So now, it's 4 to 8 weeks before the wedding, the bride is definitely very eager to come in to pickup.

Now this solution may well be OK if everything goes smoothly. The problems comes when something goes wrong. One of the inherent problems with special order dresses is that there are no inventory readily available to replace defective dresses, damage dresses, or misorders. So even if a vendor ships 9.5 dresses out of 10 flawlessly, if you happen to be that lucky .5 bride, well, they'll correct the problem but it will take another 2 to 5 months depending on the vendor, the style, production schedule, etc. So back to the scenarios where you're only a month away from the wedding and something goes wrong. Even if the vendor and the retailer wants to correct the problem, they may not be able to due to lead time requirements. The other potential risk with this approach is that by the time January rolls around, that dress you picked back in June may be discontinued. And the other potential risk is quite simply, too much time has elapsed and the store simply forgets to order it since most of them are not computerlized.

So this is the dirty little secret of many (more than you think) bridal retailers out there. So be careful when someone tells you it takes a year to get your dress or yes they can store the dress for you until your wedding free of charge and don't worry about the balance until then. Chances are, this is what they're doing. It takes approximately 4 to 6 months to order a bridal dress but we always recommend that you double that time so that if something were to go wrong, there's still time to correct it.

Our mandate here at Bridal & Beyond is to process all ready orders within 5 to 10 business days (less for rush orders). We also now offer online tracking of your order so you can check and make sure your order is processed, processed correctly, confirmed by the vendor with an estimated ship date, and see when the dress is received. So when and wherever you order your dress, make sure you understand how they will be processing your order. It can save you a lot of grief down the road.

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