Thursday, October 9, 2003

Something blue: Dress-less brides

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MONROE - These brides aren't blushing.

More than 80 of them have unveiled their outrage over a local bridal shop's alleged failure to deliver on prepaid dress orders, police Sgt. Brian Curlis said Wednesday.

Some of the brides-to-be are just assuming their dresses weren't ordered after reading or hearing reports about other brides' troubles with a shop located in Traders World Flea Market, Curlis said. It's possible that some orders have been filled, he said, so the customers need to verify their orders' status before filing police reports.

Curlis said Monroe police have only taken eight reports, alleging theft of funds paid for the undelivered dresses, because of the unclear status of some orders and because complaints involve civil matters that police cannot address. As of Wednesday, no charges had been filed.

The uproar began after The Bridal Shoppe at Traders World, located there for a dozen years, was sold. The former owner, Jill Dixon, also owned Dayton Bride in Miamisburg, a store that went out of business.

A contract signed Sept. 24 transferred ownership of The Bridal Shoppe to Benson Street Bridal, doing business as Charmain's Bridal. The contract specifies that the new owner is responsible for "satisfaction of seller's obligations under any customer agreements."

Jennifer Edens, 21, of North Bend, has her name on that list. Her mother, Paula Edens, said the new owner told her that Jennifer will lose the $375 cash that she paid Aug. 21 toward her dress and two flower girls' dresses for a March wedding.

"They said they can't give her money that they did not receive," Paula Edens said. "It's a mess."

The list of outstanding customers, which includes some Dayton Bride customers, shows about 50 dresses were ordered, some as recently as Sept. 13. About 100 other orders, including some for shoes and other accessories, appeared to have been unfilled.

Curlis suggests customers try to contact the dress manufacturer directly. He also suggests the customers check on their orders at the store, located in Building 11, during the flea market's hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Jay Frick Jr., manager of Traders World, said the new owners "are doing everything humanly possible to take care of everything."


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