Local Retailers Build Bridal Business One
Happy Cookware Customer at a Time
Now We're Cooking
Cookware is the most requested item on bridal
registries. In this second installment of The Gourmet Retailer's
2011 Cookware Series, we share bridal registry sales strategies
from successful retailers, plus new products from leading
Stainless-steel cookware is a vital part of
the product mix at The Chef's Shop in Great Barrington,
Like many independent retailers of kitchenware,
you may be wondering how to compete for a greater share
of the billion-dollar wedding registry market as consumers
become increasingly wrapped up in big-box store gift-giving.
While the competition is unquestionably fierce, independents
distinguish themselves with unparalleled, personalized service
that has new generations of customers saying 'I do' want
to register with my local kitchenware retailer.
Courting engaged couples for their registry business
can be well worth the effort. According to The Knot Market Intelligence
2010 Bridal Registry Study, 1.5 million or 88 percent of engaged
couples in the United States registered for gifts last year. The
third-annual study from the media company that runs the top two
wedding websites – TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com –
further found that the average family member spends $146 on a wedding
gift, while friends of the couple typically spend $79.
For the last decade, cookware has topped china as the most favored
registry item. The Knot study found that the average number of gifts
a couple registers for is 151, with bakeware (91 percent) and kitchen
appliances/electrics (90 percent) being the most popular registry
The growth potential for independent retailers determined
to build their cookware and high-end category sales through wedding
registries is limitless. Successful specialty stores are expanding
their registry business through a focus on outstanding customer
service both for the engaged and their gift-givers, online and in-store
incentives, and making the entire process convenient and enjoyable
for all involved.
Good Things in Small Packages
Janis Johnson, president and founder of the Dallas, Texas-based
Gourmet Catalog & Buying Group, a company dedicated to the success
of independents by providing solutions to big-box advantages, has
been a champion of mom-and-pop retailers for more than 30 years.
She is a firm believer that there are benefits to being small and
that independents can leverage those assets to win over customers
with their bridal registries and beyond.
'In-store assistance is the No. 1 advantage small retailers have
to support their in-store registry,' Johnson says. 'Most stores
advertise that they have bridal registry, and taking the next step
by truly marketing a bridal registry program and training the staff
to follow certain protocol will result in a greater dollar volume
generated by the registry. In addition, this level of customer service
will ensure return visits.'
Every time a couple registers with your store, you have a captive
audience and the opportunity to educate potentially lifelong customers.
Use this time to get answers to key questions about the couple's
culinary lifestyle, says Johnson, who recommends that retailers
ask the following:
- How frequently will you prepare meals at home?
- Which of you will be doing the cooking?
- What pans are currently in your kitchen?
- Do your pans need to be upgraded, or have you already focused
- Do you enjoy entertaining?
- Are you inclined to assemble meals, rather than actually cook
(For retailers new to the registry business, Johnson also recommends
a service used by many Gourmet Catalog retail members called Your
Registry. The California company, owned by Elsa Pinto-Melikian,
assists independent stores with the set-up of in-store registry,
which also extends to online, and includes a basic program and custom
a la carte service.)
© 2011 Stagnito Media