Ottawa bridal shop McCaffrey Haute Couture files for bankruptcy
Published Tuesday, July 21, 2015 2:29PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 21, 2015 8:06PM EDT
The countdown to Trinity Noble's wedding is nearing three weeks.
But as of Monday morning, the bride-to-be is out of a dress after one of Ottawa’s finest bridal shops, McCaffrey Haute Couture, shuttered its doors and declared bankruptcy.
"It's a big deal. Your wedding day is a big day, so something like this is shocking and you're scared. You're wondering, ‘Am I going to have a dress?'" Noble told CTV Ottawa.
The store, on Sussex Drive in downtown Ottawa, filed for bankruptcy on July 20, according to a notice on their window from Ginsberg Gingras bankruptcy service.
For 18 years, the shop has attracted clientele across Canada and around the world.
But the store’s owner, David McCaffrey, says a decrease in business due to construction and scaffolding in the area is responsible for the closure.
Chantal Gingras, president and trustee at Ginsberg and Gingras, the company handling the file, said McCaffrey Haute Couture owes creditors about $400,000.
There were 70 brides who had ordered their dresses from McCaffrey’s for their weddings this summer, Gingras told CTV Ottawa.
Of those brides, 50 will still be receiving their gowns.
But that leaves another 20 brides without dresses for their weddings later in the summer and early in the fall.
Gingras said the women may have to look elsewhere for new dresses and could also have trouble getting their money refunded.
"If they can't get their money back from the credit card company, they will have lost their money," Gingras told CTV Ottawa.
"They will not have the dress they had originally ordered, but they will still have time to buy a dress off the rack somewhere or get a dress made somewhere else," she added.
Other women who found their dream wedding dress at the store have also had their hopes dashed.
Indira Thackorie’s wedding is a few months away, but she had been eyeing a beautiful wedding gown in the window at McCaffrey Haute Couture. But on Tuesday, the dress had been removed, along with all of the other merchandise at the store.
"I came to check it out in between meetings and it's gone. The window's empty so it's very disappointing," said Thackorie.
The manager of a neighbouring store says her business has also been affected by the construction in the area.
"It made a huge negative impact, 46 per cent of traffic decreased," said Cathy Matovu, manager of Ca Va de Soi.
Former owner 'disappointed'
Former owner and designer of the store Justina McCaffrey told CTVNews.ca that she was "disappointed and sad" to hear the news of the store’s closure.
Justina McCaffrey parted ways from the store in 2008 after splitting from her then-husband and business partner David McCaffrey.
A year earlier, the store then known as Justina McCaffrey closed its Gatineau, Que., factory and declared bankruptcy.
Another McCaffrey Haute Couture store located on Yorkville Avenue in Toronto closed soon after her departure from the business, she said, adding that she has had no connection to the store since then.
Justina McCaffrey is now designing dresses for her own firm called Justina Bridal.
A local fashion designer says that increased competition from high-end stores may have also contributed to the bridal store's downfall.
"Simons is coming in, Nordstrom is here … it's easier for people to park in the Rideau Centre. One stop and they do all their shopping," said Frank Sukhoo, owner of Sukhoo Sukhoo Couture.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Joanne Schnurr