David McCaffrey speaks with CTV about bridal store bankruptcy
Published Wednesday, July 22, 2015 5:45PM EDT Last Updated Wednesday, July 22, 2015 6:16PM EDT
The owner of McCaffrey Haute Couture says his foreclosure this week is the tip of the iceberg of things to come in a retail sector struggling for thinning consumer dollars.
In an exclusive interview with CTV’s Joanne Schnurr, David McCaffrey spoke about what happened to his high-end bridal shop on Sussex Drive and what happens next to him.
McCaffrey Haute Couture closed suddenly this week, after declaring bankruptcy, leaving several brides wondering what will happen with their designer dresses and their down payments.
McCaffrey says he doesn't want to lay blame after the collapse of his business, but says construction on his building; construction on the street and increased competition did him in. He warned he won't be the last to go.
‘We put everything into it, it's all gone, there’s nothing,’ says McCaffrey, sitting down for a half hour interview with CTV Ottawa, two days after bankruptcy trustees shut down his business.
It is a crippling fall from the dizzying heights of haute couture to the stark reality of bankruptcy. David McCaffrey says the first crippling cut to business came when the National Capital Commission put up scaffolding on his storefront.
‘It was terrible. We had no idea, no notice,’ he says, ‘they boarded us up, closed us down. You might as well be in jail. Then we lost all our business.’
Eighteen years of creating dreams for brides was gone on Monday. But McCaffrey warns his foreclosure is the tip of the iceberg in an economy driven by on-line sales and big American stores.
‘At the end of the day, David's Bridal wins the whole thing, all of it. Big box American stores, we really live at Wal-Mart because it's all about the bottom line.’
McCaffrey says he feels devastated for his customers. The bankruptcy trustee says about 20 brides won't get their dresses; he believes it's more like 5.
‘That's the part I feel devastated about, to finish that process to all of my customers that I care about them.’
Kayla Funai isn't so sure about that. She says no one has called her to explain how she lost the dress of her dreams that McCaffrey was designing for her wedding next June.
‘I still get to marry the man of my dreams on my day, which is amazing,’ says a tearful Funai, ‘but that was my dress and now I’m so worried everything else is going to go wrong.’
Funai has offered to help the other brides who are owed money with free make-up or hair on their wedding day. She says they can contact her on Facebook through Kayla F.
‘Shame on him, he shouldn't have done that,’ says her mother Maureen Funai about McCaffrey, ‘shame on him to hurt someone's feeling, to hurt my daughter and all those other girls affected.’
About 50 brides, like Eleonora Karabatic got news from the trustee this morning that their gowns are ready for pick up on Tuesday.
‘Obviously today I am relieved to hear I am one of lucky brides who will have my dress and my wedding is in six weeks so it was huge relief,’ she says.
For David McCaffrey, there is oddly a sense of relief as well. An opportunity, he says, to turn a new page.
‘It's almost kind of a blessing,’ he says, ‘you get led into the next leg of what you're doing.’
So what is that next leg? McCaffrey says he plans to write a book about our drive to make money and ultimately what really matters in life.