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Engage The New Bridal Consumer's Priorities

Monday March 19th, 2012 - 10:49AM

Presenting insights that help the housewares industry market to the “new” consumer has been a continuing theme of HomeWorld’s coverage the past year. 

You’ll see more special reporting throughout this year to uncover the evolving needs and preferences of today’s housewares consumers; and to explore how suppliers and retailers are adapting to secure the loyalty of these consumers.

HomeWorld’s annual Bridal Report in the March 19, 2012, edition examines the influences guiding the shopping choices by the latest generation of prospective household starters.

Fresh Outlook

To say the traditional bridal market has changed is an understatement in a retail world that finds dinnerware competing with exercise equipment for today’s registry selections and dollars.

Despite shifts in product priorities, the housewares business remains a vital core of the retail bridal registry business, and vice versa. Recharging and sustaining this mutually beneficial merchandising marriage requires a fresh outlook on bridal consumers. These consumers haven’t abandoned traditional registry choices entirely, but they prefer a mix better suited to their immediate needs and individual tastes.

HomeWorld’s Bridal Report draws from several consumer research resources to create a composite of the new bridal consumer and her/his tabletop and housewares inclinations. These resources include the annual HomeWorld Forecast consumer survey; Design Research Reports’ Bridal Monitor, which tracks thousands of registries by consumers encompassing a wide range of retailers and categories; and Albing International Marketing’s continuing Millennial Movers study, which regularly engages a panel of Millennial-generation consumers to evaluate their living and shopping attitudes and behaviors.

Sweet Spot

Considering the life stage of Millennials, it’s should be no surprise that marriage is a prime interest of this bridal market sweet spot. Albing’s research into marriage-related considerations reveals young couples eager to start families, own homes and create inviting spaces for entertaining guests. It’s important to understand the enthusiasm of this generation is balanced by its heightened awareness of the potential limitations of a restrained economic situation. 

Realistic Goals

So while many aspire for larger, relaxing homes with“fabulous” kitchens, many accept a smaller home is a more realistic goal at the moment, thereby increasing the significance they might place on practicality and efficiency.

Housewares suppliers and retailers share a renewed opportunity to reengage today’s bridal consumers by gaining a more intimate understanding of what motivates them; and by optimizing value at all levels of the bridal marketing process. That should result in more satisfied bridal customers, higher bridal registry completion rates and greater odds of cultivating loyal, long-term customers.

The “new” consumer still savors a fair amount of tradition when it comes to bridal shopping decisions. This consumer responds even more attentively to programs closely tuned to their current life situations and individual priorities.

It’s one thing for formal china to surrender share to casual tableware in today’s recalibrated bridal market. It’s quite another for casual tableware to surrender share to an exercise bike.

Housewares marketers and merchants with the insight and ingenuity to adapt to the latest generation of bridal consumers won’t have to worry about that.

—Peter Giannetti