JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:16
The truth about the retail apocalypse
Now playing
03:24
The start-up helping Ted Baker humanize online shopping
Pandora
Now playing
02:32
Pandora CEO on why the company is ditching mined diamonds
Now playing
03:06
Stella McCartney: Fast fashion is hugely damaging to the plant
Photo: iStock
iStock
Photo: iStock
Now playing
02:15
LL Bean CEO: People are dressing up, but not giving up comfort
Now playing
02:37
Etsy CEO: Depop is growing like crazy
Getty Images
Now playing
02:18
This airplane-shaped bag is selling for more than some actual planes
Now playing
00:54
See Nike's new 'hands-free' shoe
One of many large boxes of returned products that fill the warehouse. The returned products in this box will eventually be sorted and categorized.
John General/CNN
One of many large boxes of returned products that fill the warehouse. The returned products in this box will eventually be sorted and categorized.
Now playing
05:08
Here's where your 'free' online returns actually end up
Shutterstock
Now playing
04:42
Ever receive a package you didn't order? It could be a scam
Orangetheory Fitness
Now playing
02:13
This gym is actually opening studios during the pandemic
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: A view of the window display as Macy's Herald Square unveils Give, Love, Believe 2020 Holiday Windows on November 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy's)
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images North America/Getty Images for Macy's
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 19: A view of the window display as Macy's Herald Square unveils Give, Love, Believe 2020 Holiday Windows on November 19, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Macy's)
Now playing
00:56
Macy's unveils holiday window display with gratitude theme
CNN/Target/Design by John General
Now playing
02:36
It's official: Black Friday is irrelevant
Now playing
02:23
Party City CEO: Consumers still want to celebrate together
Walmart
Now playing
01:01
See what's new inside Walmart stores
3119 E Third Street Dollar General in Dayton, OH on March 12, 2020.
Maddie McGarvey for CNN
3119 E Third Street Dollar General in Dayton, OH on March 12, 2020.
Now playing
06:07
Dollar General's business is booming. It's also vulnerable to crime, police say
New York CNN Business —  

David’s Bridal has been buried under a mountain of debt. It hasn’t helped that fewer people are tying the knot lately.

The nation’s largest bridal retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. It owes between $500 million and $1 billion to creditors, according to court records.

As part of the bankruptcy, David’s Bridal reached a deal with lenders to reduce the company’s debt by more than $400 million. The agreement will allow David’s Bridal to continue to operate its more than 300 stores.

Unlike Alfred Angelo, which shut down last year without telling soon-to-be brides, David’s Bridal customers won’t be affected by the bankruptcy. Wedding dresses will arrive on time and bridal appointments won’t be impacted, the company said.

“While David’s Bridal used to be the dominant force in bridal outfitting, it gradually became less relevant,” said Neil Saunders, managing director at GlobalData Retail.”David’s Bridal is a classic case of a retailer with too much debt and a challenged business model.”

In 2012, a private equity firm bought David’s Bridal for more than $1 billion. The high level of debt the company had to take on under the deal left it little room to invest in its digital business or marketing. David’s Bridal skipped an interest payment last month.

David’s Bridal also got battered by changes to the wedding dress industry. The company makes most of its sales from bridal gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses, but a shift to more casual weddings made the company’s traditional dresses and gowns less appealing, analysts say.

Sales and traffic have both fallen at David’s Bridal, according to Moody’s.

Upstart competitors such Floravere, Anomalie, and Urban Outfitters’ Anthropologie also undercut David’s Bridal.

“Retailers like Anomalie offer a much more modern and exciting service, which allows brides to create bespoke gowns,” Saunders said. “Newer entrants feel fresh and contemporary. By comparison, David’s Bridal appears stuffy and old-fashioned.”

David’s Bridal has also been hurt by the declining marriage rate in the United States. The number of marriages per 1,000 Americans fell from 8.2 in 2000 to 6.9 in 2016, according to the most recent CDC data.

“Cohabitation in lieu of marriage is increasingly culturally accepted,” Moody’s analyst Raya Sokolyanska said in a research report last year. “Couples pay down student debt and other obligations and pursue careers first.”