With the average wedding costs nearly double what they were ten years ago, its no wonder many Millennials are putting off the milestone of marriage until much later in life. If anything, more Millennials are cohabiting before marriage and as such they don't really need anything on the traditional wedding registry list, like furniture and kitchen appliances, because generally they already own them. While it's nice to not have to give out 20 blenders for wedding gifts, the impact of few wedding registries is being felt by home goods retailers, in particular those who cater to more wealthy consumer tastes.
According to a recent article from Business Insider, engaged Millennials are opting to ask for cash gifts and registries for experiences rather than more home goods that they have already or simply don't need. According to Gallup poll from 2016, 20% of Americans aged 18 to 30 are married; 32% of Gen X-ers and 40% of Baby Boomers were when they were the same age.
Blueprint, an online wedding registry company (started by a woman to ended up returning half of her wedding gifts because she didn't have need or space to accommodate them), recently noted that due to these trends, they have seen a big uptick in the number of cash registries -- in fact 70% of couples now register for at least one cash gift such as a honeymoon plane ticket or a fund to help remodel a room in their house.
As such, home goods retailers that heavily rely on wedding registries, such as Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy's, are no longer highlighting successes with wedding/baby registries as part of their earnings calls, indicating a major shift in what their successful business model should look like.
So who will win in all this? Well, for the eventual weddings, there is always Blueprint, and travel sites like Airbnb and Hotels.com are also expected to benefit from this trend. For a change, wedding gifts are more about acquiring experiences rather than acquiring "stuff," and quite frankly, this is much more life-enriching than another blender.
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