Coronavirus causing dress delivery delays

Published: Mar. 2, 2020 at 5:01 PM EST
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Whether it's for prom or a wedding, you may have a harder time getting your hands on that dream dress.

The coronavirus outbreak is causing dress shortages and even delivery delays around the country.

According to the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association, 80% of the world's western-style gowns are produced in China.

With the coronavirus shutting down many Chinese factories, last-minute dress shopping could be trickier than usual this year.

"I never in my head when I was planning shopping or coming to look anywhere, I never thought that would be an issue," said Ellen Perkins, a bride-to-be.

Perkins considers herself to be ahead of schedule for her December wedding, trying on dresses more than a month before the standard recommendation.

So she was shocked that Fantastic Finds told her it was a good time she came in to look because of coronavirus.

"They said it was a good time you came in, I just didn't know that it was affecting dresses," said Perkins.

Fantastic Finds says they always plan around their Chinese vendors shutting down for a few weeks for Chinese New Year, but never expected them not to reopen.

"So we are kinda being hit with a double whammy," said Fantastic Finds President Sue Rosenberger.

Dress delivery schedules are being tweaked, forcing Fantastic Finds to call designers and factories daily for updates on their orders.

"So maybe they are going to send by wedding dates rather than first come first serve on the orders," said Rosenberger. "It may run a couple weeks later, but we are not in jeopardy because we would not do that to our brides."

Prom and bridesmaid dresses are also taking a hit, limiting the quantity and styles for consumers.

"A lot of the time we will see what is going to be popular and what is booking well and we will order more of them," said Rosenberger. "We really don't have that option right now because even if we did order more, they are not coming out of the factory at this time."

Although Perkins said yes to her wedding dress nearly 10 months in advance, she's still walking out with slight concerns for herself and other bride-to- be's.

"I'm glad that I know now," said Perkins. "I have a friend that is getting married in September so I'm like 'go get your dress now'."

Fantastic Finds advises both teens and brides to not wait until the last minute to find a wedding or prom dress, especially as many of their designers and vendors are not able to do rush orders.

To prevent delivery delays and dress shortages in the long run, bridal shops are also working to change vendors for some of their dresses.

Fantastic Finds say they are currently looking at designers who manufacture in areas that are not impacted by the coronavirus.

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