Bed Bath & Beyond on Thursday announced it has added experiences to its wedding registry categories, which new and current registrants can add to their lists through the retailer.
The home retailer is partnering with VEBO, a wedding registry experience platform, for the program, which offers more than 300 experiences across the United States. Experiences are grouped into categories such as "Travelers" or "Foodies," and include things like spa trips, shark cage diving and wine tastings.
"We strive to provide our customers with a comprehensive registry experience, giving them the ability to register for gifts that are considered essential by couples including both traditional items like cookware and non-traditional options like experiences," Rob Magarino, vice president of Lifestages at Bed Bath & Beyond, said in a statement.
Adding experience-based gifts into the registry experience may bode well for Bed Bath & Beyond as consumer behavior continues to shift and evolve around this category. Integrating the VEBO experiences into couples' existing registries also eliminates the need for consumers to create two separate registries should they want a combination of both material gifts and experiential ones. It's not the first major retailer to use this tactic: Honeyfund teamed up with Target in 2018 to add experiences to its registries, which came after it formed partnerships with Macy's, West Elm, Bloomingdale's, and Kohl's, among others.
With average ages for first marriages creeping up — it was 30 for men and 28 for women in 2018 — many engaged couples merging their households may not feel they need a traditional registry. As the desire for thrilling experiences balances out with the desire to get a new set of pots and pans, mixed registries also offer wedding guests the ability to choose how to gift where they feel most comfortable. Jennifer Spector, brand director at registry site Zola, previously told Retail Dive that millennials in particular are spending more on their honeymoons.
Along with providing greater variety to meet registrants' needs, Bed Bath & Beyond's partnership with VEBO could boost revenue without the store needing to carry additional inventory. The retailer experienced a $406.8 million operating loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, and cut corporate staff by about 7% in July after a review of its corporate costs.