Weddingwear - UK - January 2009
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With the UK heading into a recession, the challenge for weddingwear retailers is to adapt their trading strategies to cope with the ‘double whammy’ of falling wedding numbers and a likely drop in average amount spent.
Groom wear is an under-developed part of the market for specialist retailers, which tend to focus almost exclusively on the female participants. Men often hire a full all-singing, all-dancing outfit or simply buy a suit that they are able to wear in the future, as well as on their big day. Waistcoats are an important way for grooms to express their individuality and this, along with upmarket ties, cufflinks etc, is an area that specialists should consider for greater product development.
Middle-aged brides remarrying often need something different from younger, first time brides. There is further scope to develop ranges for this group, who are likely to be looking for something different to the traditional white gown and who may also have a fuller figure.
The credit crunch does not yet appear to have had any impact on the weddingwear market, but as weddings are planned around a year in advance, could we see it hit in 2010 and beyond?
Extravagant bridal dresses are more insulated from cutbacks than mainstream/budget dresses, especially for first time weddings. However, brides are looking for good deals, while attendants’ outfits are coming under the budgetary spotlight. Could these be at risk from a downturn in spending?
Dresses inspired by celebrities are still important, as they are ‘icons’. But celebrities marrying in 2008 have been choosing more sophisticated styles. One of the challenges for suppliers is predicting fashion for up to two years ahead, as brides are now choosing their dresses for 2010. Could this have an impact on the ‘meringue fairytale’ style, and will it become less popular?
The whole ‘wedding experience’ is important at retail level, and independent specialists are the most popular destinations, as they cater for all needs and save time for busy people. What growth opportunities are there for other retail channels?
Weddingwear for men lacks innovation and is the slowest-growing sector within this market. What opportunities are there for encouraging growth?
Will the weddingwear hire sector thrive in a recession?
Has the trend in overseas weddings impacted this market?
How has the growth in civil partnerships affected sales of weddingwear?
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