FORMAL AFFAIR COLLAPSE: Chesterfield couples fear for hefty deposits

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Scores of soon-to-be brides and grooms fear for their deposits following the sudden closure of a well-know wedding shop in Chesterfield.

Formal Affair Weddings Limited has shut all of its nine branches with immediate effect, including its shop on Holywell Street in the town.

A total of 39 people have been made redundant.

The Tamworth-based firm, which provided wedding dresses and suits, is expected to formally enter administration early in the New Year.

The company, which was previously bought out of administration in 2014, has struggled recently due to customers' changing buying habits.

A number of Formal Affair customers have contacted the Derbyshire Times to say they put down deposits for wedding dresses and suits - and now fear for their money amid the firm's collapse.

Many of the customers gave the firm several hundreds of pounds.

We have contacted a Formal Affair representative to find out what will happen with people's deposits and are awaiting a response.

Richard Cook, director of Formal Affair Weddings Limited, said: "Despite working so hard to restructure and support the business over the last couple of years to make it competitive in light of changing consumer purchasing habits, it is with deep regret that I have had to make the unavoidable decision of closing all stores and making the staff redundant.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff members for their great service over the years as well as all of our brides and grooms for their valued custom."

Dean Nelson, head of business recovery and insolvency at Midlands-based Smith Cooper, added: "The management of Formal Affair Weddings Limited have continuously attempted to reduce costs and restructure the business in light of current fashion and purchasing trends - but this has proven challenging with the formal and wedding attire market changing considerably over the last couple of years.

"We are currently in the process of assisting the company repatriate its stock to the head office with a view to a closing down sale being instigated in the New Year.

"Once appointed administrators, we will be in contact with creditors regarding the financial position of the company and dividend prospects."