Coronavirus epidemic impacts the wedding and formal dress industry

Coronavirus epidemic and the wedding and formal dress industry

MARION, Il. (KFVS) - When you’re shopping for your big day, you might not think about the coronavirus overseas impacting your wedding dress purchase.

One Heartland boutique owner wants brides, bridesmaids, and homecoming dress shoppers to know it’s something they might want to think about.

“You don’t think about where the product comes from. It’s in the store, it’s hanging in the store, you try it on, you love it, and you try to order it," said Michelle Holmes, owner of Joyce’s Boutique and The Pageant Room in Marion. “That order’s gonna be shipped over to the factory in China. They’re gonna be cut, made, shipped to the United States, shipped to the store.”

Holmes said the coronavirus epidemic’s impacting those factories in China.

“It does make me nervous,” she said.

According to Holmes, several dress companies sent her boutique emails saying the Chinese government regulations require their manufacturing facilities to close as the virus spreads or their shipments can’t go out.

“It’s not going to affect today, this weekend, next weekend, this prom season, but just going to market, we go in March to choose our dresses for homecoming for next year. And if we choose those dresses but we don’t know if they’re going to come in, then should we add other companies? Should we order dresses that we typically don’t order?"

She called it a domino effect on the entire formal dress industry. If factories stay closed into March or they’re playing catch up for dresses they can’t make right now, the impact trickles into homecoming and fall wedding season.

“Shop early, and if a dress is in store and you like it, go with it. Especially if you’re a worrier, especially if you’re the type of person that is not gonna sleep until your dress is here, choose the dresses that are in stock. Order the dresses that are in stock. And shop early," said Holmes.

To be proactive, Holmes checks the current stock by calling the dress company or looking online before her clients finish their purchase. She does that to ensure what the woman wants is available to arrive by her deadline.

If you’re worried about homecoming, she suggests buying a dress at her sale after prom season, which can be altered shorter for homecoming.

If you’re looking for a wedding dress, she said turn around time is typically three to four months.

“But I think maybe brides looking at getting married next year, depending on how widespread the virus continues to be and how long it affects the workers in China, I think they may want to look at a longer advance notice time.”

According to Holmes, one company said in a letter it plans to resume shipping from China starting as early as February 25th.

Copyright 2020 KFVS. All rights reserved.