The Dress store's 'temporary closure' creates customer chaos
Laura Woodward, CTV Saskatoon
Published Tuesday, April 18, 2017 8:26PM CST
Locked doors at a downtown Saskatoon dress store are causing confusion among customers.
The Dress, on Auditorium Avenue, has been closed for several weeks. Store owner Jordan Rothery claims the shutdown is temporary, but several customers tell CTV News they’ve been unable to reach the shop and are in the dark over how they will receive their dresses or if they’ve lost their deposits.
Customer Kelcie Newton ordered her wedding dress in February and paid 50 per cent up front. Rothery claims the pre-ordered dresses are being shipped to a local tailor, other retailers or delivered directly, but Newton says she still doesn’t know where she’ll pick up her dress.
She says she tried to reach out to Rothery, but did not receive a response.
“I contacted the dress designer and they assured me my dress was ordered, but they did not receive any payment, so I still have to pay for my dress in full,” Newton explained. She’s worried she’s lost her $1,000 deposit.
Rothery says customers shouldn’t be concerned.
“There’s nothing sketchy going on,” she said.
“People are just worried that I’m running away with their money. Everyone is still getting their dresses. You might just have to pick it up at a tailor or another authorized retailer.”
The store’s phone line has been disconnected and Rothery says she recently shut down the Facebook page because of online threats, but she insists the closure is not permanent.
“We’re not closing,” she said.
She claims says she’s working to transition the store into a trunk-show shop — a store where designers feature their dresses by appointment.
She wasn’t able to give CTV an estimate on when she expects to reopen, stating the new opening depends on when she receives books from designers, and noted her plan for now is to remain in the current location.
Customers worried about their dresses are encouraged to email the shop, she said.
Lexi Brown, who used to work at The Dress but was let go with the recent shut down, bought Rothery’s dress stock before opening up her own store, Dressed Up, at The Centre.
Brown’s shop is not affiliated with The Dress, but she’s trying to help affected customers track down their gowns.
“I’ve been working very closely with Blush, the designer of the grad dresses, and we’re doing the best we can to make sure everyone gets their dress on graduation day,” Brown said.
She hasn’t seen an instance yet of a dress not showing up.
“Honestly, I think it’s a lack of communication. I think the owner of The Dress still has the intention of getting people their dresses,” she said.
Still, some customers, including Newton, have filed a police report, claiming fraud on the part of The Dress.
Kelsie Fraser, a Saskatoon Police Service spokesperson, said officers are reviewing the reports case-by-case but aren’t investigating the reports as fraud.
“We have received some complaints, but are not investigating them as frauds, as many of the complainants actually received their money back,” Fraser wrote in an email. “We are assessing each complaint that comes in but so far there hasn’t been any evidence to support criminal wrongdoing.”
Rothery told CTV she was receiving a shipment of about 20 dresses Tuesday and is still expecting to send out another 30 or so graduation dresses, 10 bride dresses and dresses for a handful of wedding parties on top of the shipment.
Some dresses won’t be ready until June or July, she said.