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Need a prom dress? You may want to shop sooner rather than later

Quinces and parties are being postponed across the Coastal Bend.
Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-28 00:18:30-05

It's normally a busy time for stores that specialize in quinceañera and prom dresses, but the supply for dresses could be limited this season because of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Local boutique shop and bridal shop owners told KRIS 6 News about 80 percent to 90 percent of their dresses in stock are made in China, and then shipped to their vendors from overseas.

Now, shop owners such as Bel's Tuxedo & Quinceanera Boutique owner Belinda Obregon are concerned they may not be able to meet the demands because of the outbreak, which has been deadly overseas.

"It came as a surprise, because I didn't think the coronavirus was going to affect us," Obregon said.

But it is.

That's because the deadly COVID-19 strain of coronavirus has closed many Chinese factories, and dresses aren't being shipped to the United States as usual.

Obregon said if a customer orders a dress, it usually takes about three months to arrive.

However, about a month ago, right before the peak of prom dress shopping season, her shop received a notice from their vendors warning about shipment delays.

"If our vendors don't have their warehouses stocked with the gowns, then they have to wait for a shipment to come overseas," Obregon said.

Now, shop owners such as Obregon are warning that if you're in the market for that perfect dress, you may want to go shopping months in advance.

"So now we tell our customers, we're not guaranteeing that it's going to be in by this date like we used to before," she said.

Obregon said at this time, it's still unclear how long dress shipment delays will be.