Thinking about saying “I do” to your own bridal shop? Here’s some handy information to help you determine if you’re ready to make the commitment.
Facts and stats
- According to a recent report, bridal shop industry revenue is expected to increase at an annual rate of 5.4% from 2018 to 2019, to $441.9 million.
- IBISWorld analyst James Thompson says, “With the growing Australian population and same-sex marriage legislation … we expect the number of wedding stores to increase at an annualised rate of 1 percent over the next five years.”
- The bridal shop industry is projected to continue to perform well as more engaged couples have greater financial stability due to their rising average age at marriage.
- In a recent survey, 92% of brides said they would purchase a wedding gown, and 69% of them said they would wear a veil with their dress. Almost 30% of the women surveyed said that if they found the perfect dress, cost would not be a deterrent.
- Increased revenue growth in the bridal shop industry has largely been driven by rising expenditure on wedding gowns. In 2018, the average cost per dress was around $5,000.
The bridal shop overview
Bridal shops are the quintessential haven for all brides searching for the perfect look for their big day. Typically, bridal stores offer an array of gowns, veils, shoes, gloves, and jewellery to fit any taste, style, and wedding venue—from fancy ballrooms to romantic beaches.
In addition, shops will typically provide basic alteration services, such as hemming, taking in or letting out seams, and lengthening or shortening garments.
Due to the specific nature of the bridal shop industry, the majority of shops are small, independent businesses that operate locally and cater to definitive demographics; there are only a few stores that operate multiple locations or franchises.
This exclusive and booming sector offers ample opportunity for an innovative owner to find a unique niche and focus on providing exceptional customer service.
Something borrowed, something blue
As with all forms of fashion, the bridal industry is driven by changing trends from season to season. Here are some of the current trends fuelling sales today:
- Something old, something new: In addition to providing expensive designer gowns, a savvy owner in this industry should also offer a selection of second-hand and pre-owned wedding attire for the more budget-conscious bride.
- Comfort, please: According to a 2018 Pinterest survey, when it comes to a bride's personal style, comfort is extremely important. High necklines are up 351%, and boleros, jumpsuits, sleeves, and flats are also trending.
- A bride needs options: Some brides want colour options other than classic white. Rose is up 46%, while the champagne colour continues to rise in popularity, up 358%.
By staying abreast of seasonal trends, you will be able to provide each bride with the freshest bridal style.
Bridal shop owners face increasing competition from online bridal stores. To compete, an independent shop should strive to offer something that online businesses can’t: exceptional face-to-face customer service, going above and beyond what might be expected.
Take the time to understand each customer’s vision; then, suggest flattering styles and offer gowns in a wide price range. Throughout the entire process, be sure to give your brides that special pampering they would never find online or at an “off-the-rack” establishment.
- Flair for customer service: Cater to each bride’s individual needs and sense of style. Make sure she is treated like a princess from start to finish.
- Aptitude for staff training, education, and management: For success in this industry, it’s essential to have well-trained, conscientious staff. Educate your staff and ensure their knowledge regarding styles, silhouettes, body shapes, and quality workmanship.
- Eye for style: Not every dress looks perfect on every figure, so make sure your staff doesn’t offer false praise for every gown a patron tries on. Instead, train them to have a keen eye and to offer options that truly complement each customer’s body type.
The bridal shop industry offers you a creative opportunity to cater to a certain niche and provide your own unique flair to meet the needs of your clientele during a very special time in their lives. Visit here for a glimpse of the bridal shops available for sale near you.