Elsa Pinto-Melikian, with Your Registry
Inc., a Sacramento, Calif.-based registry service for independent
gourmet stores, said there are many factors why white is in demand.
“People want things to work together.
Something that works in every situation, something they can mix
with casual with the super-stuffy stuff,” she said.
With cooking shows on television 24/7 and
with more people cooking more at home, our society has evolved more
into a food culture, she noted. Plus, food presents well on white.
Pinto-Melikian said tabletop, which is often
stereotyped as fine china, has added categories that are not traditional—such
as acrylicware and textiles.
Except for the South, where traditional
brides include fine china in their bridal registries, the rest of
the country has seen a shift to more utilitarian “relaxed,
not fancy” place settings made by companies such as Casafina
“Tabletop is not going away. It has
changed. The traditional china is not what is interesting to 24-
to 32-year-old brides,” said Pinto-Melikian.
Owner Amy Ruis said her customers are creating
“casual, beautiful tables” with coordinating, not matching,
pieces. Metal serveware and Harold Import’s HIC Porcelain
White trays, bowls and platters are in demand. “My customers
are staying at home and updating their tables,” Ruis said.
Art of the Table’s customers continue to invest in top-of-the-line
tabletop items such as a high quality, versatile tablecloth, multipurpose
stemware and flatware.
Gourmet stores hoping to get a piece of
the lucrative bridal registry and tabletop business need to realize
today’s shopper has changed, Pinto-Melikian said. One key
group, the echo boomers, also dubbed millenials by market research
professionals, make decisions in a group, and want to be helped
by someone their own age. This group of 13-34 year olds are also
the same one posting reviews on Yelp! and spending hours on Facebook
connecting with their network.
“You need to understand how they think.
They are so much more dependent than independent (on the advice
of their peers when making buying decisions. ) You may not like
them, but they are your future customer,” said Pinto-Melikian.
Before stocking your store with tabletop
items and other items for bridal registries, Pinto-Melikian, who
has created a guide for running an informal focus group, suggests
that retailers host an informal focus group in their stores, and
ask these soon-to-be brides what their preferences are in broad
categories. “Don’t buy what you think would sell. Ask
people what they’d buy,” she said.
© 2010 Stagnito Media.