NEW YORK— There is encouraging news on the wedding gift front for the housewares and tableware business, and it counters presumptions that consumers abandoning traditional wedding registry selections have dampened the segment’s growth prospects.
The NPD Group reports that wedding-associated housewares and appliance sales grew to $475 million in the 12 months ended November 2019, compared to about $443 million during the comparable year-earlier period.
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Joe Derochowski, home industry advisor for NPD, projects sales growth for wedding-related home products to continue the next five years.
“There are more people entering this life stage,” Derochowski said.
Indeed, a surging share of Millennials that might have been prone to delaying marriage are finally seeking to tie the knot, industry observers note, leading many to project an annual rise in weddings the next few years.
“The market is ripe for growth,” Derochowski said. And while soon-to-be married younger couples have shown a tendency to include experiences among their preferred wedding gifts, as couples close in on a wedding, they often reveal a growing appreciation and need for quality household products to help them cook and entertain.
A look at the top general home product classification in wedding registries, according to NPD consumer tracking, also confirms a shift in priorities to practical goods, Derochowski noted. Kitchen tops the list, followed by dining, bathroom, décor and appliances. In kitchenware, top preferences, in order according to NPD, are cutlery, kitchen tools/gadgets, bakeware, cookware, linens and bar/wine accessories.
“These young couples realize they’re going to be more involved in meals, and they want good knives and interesting gadgets,” Derochoswki said.
“The essence of what wedding registries are about hasn’t changed,” he continued. “They are about helping couples start a new life together and giving them the fundamentals they don’t have and need.”
NPD also asked wedding registrants for the prime consideration when selecting a retailer registry. Trust was the top reason (selected by 30% of respondents), followed by broad selection (27%), best prices (27%), ease of registration (24%) and great reputation (22%).
“It is important to note how important trust and broad selection are,” Derochowski said. “Trust… because this is such an important life moment. Broad selection, meanwhile, says they don’t have to create multiple registries at different retailers.”
NPD consumer data reveals that half of wedding registrants created their registries online. But most registry fulfillment still starts in stores, Derochowski said, and that can fuel repeat traffic.
“This is an important opportunity for retailers to sell people— to showcase their selections, knowledge and excellent service,” Derochowski said.