AKRON, OH (WOIO) - The bridal shop in Akron where Amber Vinson shopped for her bridal gown will be closing.
The Cleveland area had been on alert since early October, when northeast Ohio native Amber Vinson visited the area. The 29-year-old contracted the Ebola virus while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas. He died on Oct. 9.
Vinson then flew from Dallas to Cleveland, and spent time in Akron, before going back to Dallas. She tested positive for Ebola the day after she returned to Dallas. Her travel led health officials to monitor her mother, stepfather and fiancé, along with more than 150 people.
She was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Oct. 28.
"There's a lot of stigma that's going along with Ebola and we still get calls, 'is it safe to come in there?'" said Kayla Litz, store manager at Coming Attractions. "You can't Google the word 'Coming Attractions' without the word 'Ebola' coming up. A lot of people wanted refunds. They didn't want their dresses."
Customers are still coming in now, but the store was closed for most of October and November. The business never recovered after Vinson's visit.
"We tried very hard the last few months to bounce back, but it's just not happening. So the decision was made last week to cut our losses and close the business," explained Litz.
The doors will remain open for some time with normal hours through Jan. 31. Liquidating their inventory, many items are 50 to 80 percent off.
"Our bridal gowns are all 60 percent off. All of our prom dresses are $99 or less. All of our shoes are $20 or less," said Litz.
Coming Attractions will stay open for customers through the spring. The store probably will close some time in May.
"I'm losing my job that I love very much. It's sad," Litz said.
The owners say business at the store is down more than 50 percent compared to last year.
On Wednesday, owner Anna Younker posted the following
on the shop's Facebook page:
I am sad to announce that Coming Attractions Bridal & Formal is being forced to wind down its operations after thirty years of service due to the devastating effect that recent events have had on our business. Despite our best efforts, we simply have been unable to recover.
If you have a dress currently on order with us or you are planning on placing an order, please do not worry. Coming Attractions will remain open until all existing orders are complete. If you are planning on placing an order all orders must be placed by January 31st, 2015. We will contact you when your merchandise arrives and is ready for pickup. We will operate under normal business hours through January. Beginning February 1st, our business hours will change.
If you have any questions about your order or any other concerns, please stop in our store or call us at 330-630-7030. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook.
The decision for me to close was not easy for me. Over the years I have met and worked with the most amazing brides, mothers of brides, bridesmaids, prom girls and many other wonderful people.
I want to thank all our customers, the people in our community and the well wishers from afar for being so supportive. Your kind words and loyalty have been great comfort.
I also want to thank my amazing staff for all of their hard work and dedication to our customers and our business. I appreciate your understanding and support.