Formal dress shops hurting now that prom season is up in the air

NOW: Formal dress shops hurting now that prom season is up in the air

ELKHART, Ind. - As schools in Indiana and Michigan are being ordered to close for the remainder of the school year, big events like prom are also being scrapped.

Although we haven’t heard any direct announcements that area proms are canceled or postponed, at this point we’re pretty sure they won’t be happening anytime soon.

So, students are obviously upset but what about those dress shops who are now losing out on thousands?

“Well it obviously has had a dramatic impact on our business just as it has everybody else,” Danny Reynolds whose family owns Stephenson’s of Elkhart, said. Stephenson’s is a formal dress and bridal shop.

After hearing the Governor's announcement closing all non-essential businesses, he said, “We essentially closed up.”

But since it’s right in the peak bridal and prom season, that is causing problems.

“That means a lot of merchandise flowing in and out, a lot of dresses en route from our suppliers that we’ve had to kind of reroute our logistics and try to make happen what best we can by receiving those dresses and getting them back to the customers,” he said.

What makes matters worse is once they get a dress, they can’t give it back.

“We are not able to send these dresses back, we own them,” he said.

And with the coronavirus affecting the number of customers coming in, they are struggling to make a profit.

That’s why the owners came up with an idea to bring the community together and help local small businesses.

“Stephenson’s promposal to our community that if proms by the school do end up getting canceled, we’re going to be here,” he said. “We’re going to try and get together with our fellow merchants and operators downtown and put on a prom ourselves obviously only when it’s safe to do so.”

Reynolds said there are much bigger problems in the world but if they can put on a prom that is helping local small businesses and putting more positivity into our lives then there’s no question about it.

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