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Bridal registry with a gift shop
Opportunities and Taking Advantage of Them
It has been quite a number of years since hardware retailers were reading a number of articles about women, and the amount of shopping that they are doing in stores that were once thought of as being exclusively for men.
At that time, suggestions were being made about the appearance of the store, the staff, and the selection of merchandise available to customers. Housewares and gifts were two of the most frequently mentioned suggestions that were made.
In addition to having a housewares or gift department, many stores are taking the time to further address the needs and wants of the female shopper. Paint departments are now including accessories such as wallpaper and trims, while some stores have gone the full range of taking care of the home by adding towels, sheets, and other home accessories to their selections.
When niche marketing became one of the buzz words, some stores that had gifts decided to create a bridal registry. The bridal registry is a difficult market to tap into, especially if the design of your store, by way of layout and product selection, still has that "hardware atmosphere" as compared to being able to distinguish the gift shop within the hardware store.
Perhaps, in comparison to spending the dollars to make an attempt, hopefully successfully, into a new market like bridal registry, you can create a partnership with another retailer and create a synergism.
Our example for this unique paring is a hardware store, and an upscale gift shop that was located some eight miles from the hardware store. The most likely possibility for one individual to shop both stores would lie in the husband that is going with his wife on the Saturday afternoon excursion. With this customer exclusivity, each store had the opportunity to introduce a new group of customers to their product and services offerings.
The hardware store provided to the gift shop some of their most upscale products. There were cordless power tools, quality hand tools, and a couple of hand held pieces of power equipment. All of which were displayed in conjunction with a large wheel barrow.
For the hardware store that has a housewares department, there would be a second display in the gift store, featuring items such as microwaves, blenders, and many other household items that were not offered in the gift shop.
The hardware retailer provided to the gift shop two of each item, along with a booklet detailing each of the products and the selling features. Two of each item was all that was necessary because the gift shop could have one item ready to go for a customer and one to be left on display.
As sales were made, a call would be made to the hardware store to ask for additional stock. And with many items that were given for the bride and groom, the tradition is that the consumer makes their selection and pays for the item at that time.
The gift store would, nearer the time of the wedding, wrap the gifts and deliver all of them to the site of the wedding reception. The bonus to the hardware store is with several weddings selecting the same gifts.
The hardware store would have the luxury of being able to order the necessary quantities and deliver them to the gift store in plenty of time for the weddings.
As with most bridal registries, the bride, and now the groom, are able to make a trip to the gift store and register their gift preferences. But, instead of just the usual silverware, dinnerware, and miscellaneous gifts, they could select many of the items that they would be needing in and around their home.
In the hardware store, there would be a selection of items from the gift store. The addition of these products would provide the hardware store with a more upscale and attractive appearance for the items that are sold by the hardware store.
The display of the gift store merchandise in the hardware store would also provide an indirect endorsement of this unique partnership.
The partnership will more likely be able to afford to display their joint efforts in the bridal shows that are held in many communities. You could extend this partnership if the hardware store had a rental department that could provide accessories for the wedding and reception.
Other services that could be added to the initial combination would be a florist, photographer, caterer and limousine service. By adding posters or displays from these other services, the hardware store and gift store could further reduce the cost of the bridal shows, by charging a monthly fee for maintaining the displays within the stores.
Advertising at the appropriate time of year would make for a unique combination, as a bridal couple shopping with any one of this "bridal team" would immediately be exposed to all of the other partners.
The hardware store, as a stand alone business, is traditionally not one of the locations where a couple is likely to register for their wedding gifts. And it may be hard for a couple to imagine a lawn mower as a gift to register for. But with the "bridal team", the hardware store may soon need to learn the words to the song, "here comes the bride".
This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.
Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.