Gap Plans To Shutter Weddington Way Shops

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About two years after J. Crew decided to close its wedding-dress business, Gap Inc. plans to shutter Weddington Way shops within Banana Republic stores, Bloomberg reported.

Even with the closure, Weddington Way may continue to serve customers through its eCommerce website. But the brand could only guarantee that it would fill orders through the site until June.

“We hope that Weddington Way will continue to serve you through our website indefinitely, but at this point we can only guarantee orders made through June 11, 2018,” the company wrote in a statement. “Any order placed on or before that date is guaranteed to be fulfilled, and we will honor returns.”

Weddington Way’s decision comes as the wedding-dress industry faces the challenge of changing fashion tastes and competition, despite the fact that Americans are typically spending more money on weddings than they have in prior years. And there’s another headwind for the wedding-dress business: Since the 1980s, marriage rates have fallen.

The news comes about four years after Weddington Way closed on another $9 million in funding, in August of 2014. The investment round brought the company’s total funding to $11.5 million, TechCrunch had reported. The Series A round was led by Javelin Venture Partners, while existing investors Battery Ventures, Felicis Ventures and Trinity Ventures also participated.

Other strategic investors included Bonobos founder Andy Dunn, Nixon’s founder Andy Laats, Lululemon Athletica board member RoAnn Costin and former Gap CEO Bob Fisher. The new funding was said to be used to Weddington Way’s team, expand its efforts to acquire new customers and make improvements to its collaborative-shopping platform.

The San Francisco-based startup lets brides and bridesmaids shop together online, mimicking the traditional offline bridal-party-shopping outing. The online version makes sense for bridal parties that consist of geographically dispersed members and also resonates with millennial shoppers who want to do more of their shopping online.

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