IN recent years, prom has become one of the main highlights for those finishing school. Whilst many may think this is just an American trend, this is now a rite of passage for British students and has been growing year on year.
The Dress Studio, prom specialists in Warrington, who opened in 2012, can vouch for this – they have seen growth every year and had to expand to keep coping with increased demand.
Girls start planning their dresses over a year in advance and excitement bubbles as they plan what transportation they will take to their special event, how they will wear their hair & make-up and….. However, 2020 has been quite different and when lockdown was introduced in March, prom plans came to a grinding halt. Everyone is in the same storm but all have different experiences, and it is safe to say it’s been a disappointing year for Year 11 students. The joy of finally finishing the last exam, dreaming of endless summer plans with friends, perhaps the first holiday abroad without their families, the anticipation of results day, and of course, prom, has all been put on hold. However, customers of the Warrington prom superstore, The Dress Studio, have been proving that Covid19 will not rain on their parade.
Holly Pirrie, the owner of the specialist boutique explained:”It has been heartbreaking to see the disappointment for so many of our customers but we have found that with restrictions easing, our prom girls have been taking matters into their own hands. They have still wanted their special prom moment and so, they have been arranging smaller togethers in their gardens & getting dressed up, as if it were the real thing.
“We know it’s not the same but 2020 has to be about making new memories and we can tell that our customers have loved these alternatives. The photos will be ones that they can look back at fondly and know they made the best of their situation.”
Prom may be just a party to many but the industry has been massively affected by lockdown. It is crippling, not just for retailers of dresses & suits, but for all the sectors involved. Prom is a critical event for many, small & local businesses. Holly explained:
“Physically, The Dress Studio is a large store with over 30 fitting rooms, but the reality is that we are a small business. March – June is typically one of busiest times due to the girls choosing their prom dresses, but this was completely cut short due to the pandemic, like most retailers, this is a difficult time for us. It is not just us that are feeling the affects of this – venues, transport companies (like limo hire), beauty salons, hairdressers, photographers, make-up artists, musicians, caterers… many are devastated by the cancellation or postponement of proms.
“Many schools have postponed prom and we hope that all will consider this when restrictions ease. The students may be making the most of an unfortunate situation in their gardens now, but they definitely deserve that proper farewell. For now, we are super proud of customers for getting glam and making the most out of their dresses!”
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