How supermarkets can help couples tie the knot

Articles
April 16, 2012

How supermarkets can help couples tie the knot

Supermarkets can use loyalty cards to get involved with wedding events and bring in new shoppers.

The wedding business remains big business, even in a tougher economic climate. However, according to a study conducted by BRIDES magazine, the average cost of weddings went from $28,082 to $26,501, an almost a five percent decrease in 2011. The study also reveals that engaged couples are finding creative ways to make their dollars go farther, and these days everyone is pitching in to help support the bride and groom with costs.
 
It makes sense that couples embarking on one of the most important moments of their lives would need a little help, as it isn’t just the wedding itself that costs large amounts of money. It’s also the events that surround the ceremony and reception that couples seem to desire as to maximize the fellowship time they share with family and friends, and to create a memorable and meaningful celebration.
 
Here are some interesting findings from BRIDES magazines, 2011 American Wedding Study.
 
- 24% have a post-reception party.
 
- 35% have an engagement party (+21%).
 
- 87% have a rehearsal dinner.
 
- 22% have a wedding weekend (+38%).
 
- 34% have a post-wedding brunch.
 
- 86% have an average of 2.3 bridal showers.
 
- The average number of guests is 152
 
The Lempert Report sees opportunities abound for supermarkets to offer services for all of these types of events. If there’s one thing for certain that will be needed, it’s food! And couples aren’t always looking for traditional types of catering for these events. In fact, they are looking for personality more than anything. For example, last week the Mother Nature Network published an article that spotlights food trucks getting involved in weddings. And did you know that the number one theme of weddings for 2011 was beach, tropical and luau?
 
But catering is not the only opportunity here.
 
According to BRIDES magazine, couples are registering on average with 2.3 different stores, and 82% register through a combination of in-store and online stores. And it isn’t just the fine china and silver they desire anymore. Stores like Target and Walmart have become popular places for couples to register for items that are more of a necessity than a luxury. Some couples even register for contributions to their honeymoon trips. So why wouldn’t a couple consider joining a wedding club at their local supermarket – particularly one that provided something that is the most necessary!
 
Although there are probably many that would love to walk through a store with a scanner adding a ham or a few pounds of seafood to their registry, what we are suggesting is something more unique that not only sets up these couples with benefits, but also brings new customers in to your stores.
 
It’s all about those loyalty cards and reward points. BRIDES says that the average engagement is 15.4 months, and on average they register about seven months before the wedding. That’s seven months they could be racking up points when their friends and family shop at your store! Offer the opportunity for shoppers to have their points at each purchase matched and added to the engaged couples’ points.
 
In addition, there are many ways your store can enhance the wedding club offer by adding things like a point fund that goes specifically toward food for a couples' wedding event, whether it’s the actual reception, post-reception, rehearsal dinner, bridal luncheon, etc.
 
Or maybe a couple has a charity that is close to their heart, and they’d like to have their friends and families put their points toward donations to something like a local food bank?

And how about making it even more engaging by using social media networks and apps to alert registered couples and their supporters when they have received points?
 
Brides and grooms are using their creative minds to plan their special days…or wedding weekends for that matter! Supermarkets may already have established a relationship with their shoppers, and what better way to strengthen that than to be a part of their big event and in addition, foster new relationships with their friends and family.