David’s Bridal flirts with possible bankruptcy after skipping debt payment

The nation’s leading wedding retailer is flirting with the possibility of bankruptcy protection, which often involves some store closures, after skipping a key debt payment.

David’s Bridal, whose tight grip on the wedding business has loosened in recent years amid digital competition and declining marriage rates, failed to make a key loan payment Monday.

That move served as a warning to creditors that the company is barreling toward a restructuring effort of some kind. Failing to make a debt payment is often a precursor to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

There’s a “very high likelihood” of bankruptcy or a consensual debt restructuring for David’s Bridal, said Mathew Christy, an S&P Global Ratings analyst who tracks the retailer.

S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday lowered David’s Bridal’s credit rating from CCC-, which suggests the borrower is vulnerable to not paying back its debts on time, to SD, which indicates the company has selectively defaulted on a debt obligation but plans to continue making payments.