Bed, Bath & Beyond’s wedding registry business is slipping, survey finds

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According to a recent poll by Baird, more engaged couples are skipping Bed Bath & Beyond and instead signing up for wedding registers on Amazon and Target.

Bed Bath & Beyond’s market share on wedding records has dropped to 30% – the lowest in the six years the stock research firm conducted its annual survey. That is a decrease of 33% in October and 34% in July, the average for the last fourth quarter. The decline could mean trouble for the company amid a turnaround effort.

According to Baird’s January poll, which lagged fourth quarter averages, Amazon is the leading wedding registry retailer with 45% of entry penetration. Bed Bath follows Amazon with 30% and Target with 26%. Crate & Barrel and Williams-Sonoma both achieved 15% listing penetration in January, the survey found. Cash / travel is also popular inquiries on couples’ registers, with 16% of entry penetration in the January survey.

Wedding registries are an important indicator for retailers selling housewares. Registration purchases tend to have higher margins as family and friends often select gifts from the list rather than looking for deals, said Justin Kleber, retail analyst at Baird. If a company wins a couple’s business during the milestone, it can build loyalty and gain importance when that couple makes other large household purchases, he said.

“If you get a client when they’re married, they might move to a new apartment or house and then maybe your family will grow with a new baby or two,” said Kleber.

This year, too, wedding registers are likely to have gained in importance. Many analysts expect a wedding boom in 2022 as couples move forward with ceremonies and larger celebrations after postponing them due to the pandemic. 2.5 million weddings are expected this year, according to a forecast by The Wedding Report – a high of four decades.

Baird tracks quarterly wedding registries using randomized newly engaged couples data from TheKnot.com. It uses the results as a directional indicator of wedding registries market share and the brands’ response with customers, Kleber said.

These results have changed significantly since Baird started the survey in January 2017. Back then, Bed Bath topped the list with 44% of listing penetration, followed by Target with 29%, Amazon with 20% and Macy’s with 19%. .

Kleber said the changes reflect growing Amazon sales and the efforts of some brick and mortar players, including Macy’s and Bed Bath, to adapt to e-commerce and attract younger shoppers.

Bed Bath did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company will announce its third quarter results on Thursday.

Retailers are also competing with a new threat, he said. More engaged couples opt for honeymoon and cash instead of requesting knife blocks, towels, and comforters. Cash / Travel has grown in popularity, with 10% supply penetration in January 2017 to 16% supply penetration in the January 2022 survey – with the advent of honeymoon registration sites like Honeyfund and the desire of some Millennials and Generation Z customers to prioritize put experiences over goods.

“Couples now want more cash, travel or honeymoon money than they did five years ago,” he said. “This is a little harder for retailers to solve for this part of the registration equation.”

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