SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

October 24, 2012

Dress shops say 'I do'

Lorraine Roy store closing but will live on as part of Bella Sera Bridal

DANVERS — After 60 years as a downtown fixture, Lorraine Roy Designer Collections, a shop that generations of women have used to find that special dress for that special occasion, is closing its doors.

After its most profitable year ever, owner Jeanne Hennessey of Danvers has sold her mother-of-the-bride and special-occasion dress business to the Bella Sera Bridal boutique on Route 114. Lorraine Roy will be folded into Bella Sera’s space upstairs at 85 Andover St., above Giblees menswear and tuxedo stores. It’s being billed as a boutique within a boutique and will be called Lorraine Roy at Bella Sera.

The owners of the privately held boutiques would not disclose the terms of the deal.

Hennessey plans to stay on as a consultant, and her four employees plan to join Bella Sera, which has 13 employees of its own.

Bella Sera Bridal had been growing at a 30 percent rate recently, but this year, its growth rate leveled off to 20 percent, said owners Lisa Almeida of Andover and Heidi Nicholson of Derry, N.H. They expect that the addition of Lorraine Roy will double their business in two years.

A former owner of a family-owned management consulting business, Hennessey has owned the business for the past five years and had worked there two years before that. She bought the business from former owner Donald Roy, who she said told her she would be the one to take the business to its next level.

“And I think this is taking it to the next level, so it’s mission accomplished,” Hennessey said.

When the merger of the two businesses is complete, this shopping plaza along Route 114 will become a one-stop shop for the bride, the bridal party, the mother of the bride and the groom searching for a tux downstairs at Giblees.

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