VIDEO: Their wedding day dreams have been shattered: Dozens of couples are now having to re-arrange their plans after a bridal shop suddenly ceased trading. And to add to their problems - they could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket. Angry brides-to-be have been anxiously queueing outside the Brides of Portsmouth shop in Elm Grove at Southsea, but the doors have remained firmly closed. The company has apologised today and says it was forced to close after it was unfairly implicated in a rogue trader-style television programme. Mel Bloor has the story.
Statement from Brides of Portsmouth:
"It is with deep regret that as of today, Brides of Portsmouth Limited has been forced to cease trading. An Insolvency Practitioner has been asked to assist the shareholders and director in placing the company into creditors voluntary liquidation.
"Brides of Portsmouth" was an established, well respected business in Portsmouth for many years. The business was unfairly implicated in Channel 5's ‘Cowboy Traders’ in relation to a previous owner in April 2012, however, and the shop has suffered as a direct result.
Rumours were circulated on various websites and attempts to distance Brides of Portsmouth from this programme failed with the result that new brides lost confidence, existing customers cancelled gowns and wedding packages, whilst others failed to meet payment dates.
Brides of Portsmouth Limited was unable to continue to trade without new business.
Thanks go to Rothman Pantall LLP, 10 Landport Terrrace, Portsmouth for the continued support and attempts to help avoid the untrue events and implications of ‘Cowboy Traders’
Obviously our sincerest apologies go to all our brides for the unnecessary closure of Brides of Portsmouth due to a tv programme over which we had no control. Channel 5 has directly caused the misery that these brides are facing today. Brides of Portsmouth had no control over the programme and what was broadcast, and attempted to remove the programme and association of the previous owner by advising the production company of the potential consequences for all Brides' customers if the programme was broadcast.
We would also like to advise that work to wedding gowns with Brides of Portsmouth seamstress will continue and for brides that already have their gowns with the seamstress, please contact Irina direct on 07871 182094."
Channel 5 told ITV Meridian they made the programme having received 30 complaints about the previous owner and stand by what they reported.
Couples owed money or goods need to contact Insolvency firm Benedict Mackenzie on 0845 5670567.