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David’s Bridal: Vow Renewal Couples Want the Newlyweds Shopping Experience

David’s Bridal: Vow Renewal Couples Want Newlyweds Experience

Consumers are willing to spend an arm and a leg on their weddings — possibly more than once, according to David’s Bridal.

In an interview with PYMNTS alongside the Wednesday (May 1) announcement of the retailer’s National Vow Renewal Month celebration, Kelly Cook, president of brand, technology and finance at David’s Bridal, discussed the demand among these “renewly weds” to make the occasion special.

“I had a chance meeting with a bride — a beautiful older lady in a store,” Cook recalled. “We were chatting, and she had on a full bridal gown, and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, are you getting married?’ … and she goes, ‘Oh, we’re having a vow renewal ceremony’ … What’s better than marrying the first time than marrying the love of your life again?”

She cited findings from the company’s research that 10% to 15% of marriages each year are “some form of a vow renewal,” a finding that was “much higher than what we thought.” Of those, a third of the brides said they were buying a new gown or a new dress for the occasion.

The retailer is launching a pop-up chapel for free vow renewal ceremonies in Las Vegas May 20 and touting a curated collection of little white dresses meant to meet this demand.

Moves such as this vow renewal push, encouraging consumers to treat themselves to a special occasion, can be key, as retailers are feeling shoppers pull back amid ongoing economic challenges. The “Why One-Third of High Earners Live Paycheck to Paycheck” installment of the PYMNTS Intelligence series “New Reality Check: The Paycheck-to-Paycheck Report,” which drew from a survey of more than 4,200 U.S. consumers, found that 60% of shoppers have cut down on nonessential retail purchases.

Additionally, “The Pessimism About Pay Rises Offsets the Effect of Falling Inflation” edition of the series found that 83% of consumers said they are at least somewhat concerned about near-term economic conditions.

Consumers continue to splurge on their marriages. The average cost of a wedding has gone up, suggesting that even in times of financial difficulties, consumers are willing to pull out all stops for these occasions.

Pop-ups of this kind have proven to be an effective way to draw consumers in, with the retailer’s prom pop-up last year yielding a “very high new customer acquisition rate” and with its virtual live shopping bridal show pop-up garnering top-of-funnel engagement, Cook said.

“The ones in store are very mission-oriented and have high levels of intent,” she said. “They’re ready to shop.”

With virtual events, shoppers “end up making a transaction within 30 days,” she added.

This trend mirrors engagement with the retailer’s overall business as well, where brides visit the site “between nine and 22 times” before making an appointment in stores, she said.

Looking ahead, Cook said she aims to make the vow renewal push a yearly occasion, recurring every May.

“Our hope is to do this annually and just continue to make the whole month something even bigger and better,” she said. “It’s Vegas this time. Maybe it’s Costa Rica next time? I don’t know. We’ll see.”

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