Macy's has tapped one of its top veterans, Shawn Outler, as senior vice president of its revamped wedding services strategy.
While Macy’s has a strong tradition of supporting wedding gift registries, it hasn’t until now focused on the kind of engagement and bridal offerings that make weddings a $60 billion industry (not including the honeymoon), according to IBIS World.
The Macy's effort is aimed squarely at millennials, many of whom are now in their late 20s, currently the typical U.S. age for marriage, Fortune reports. At the moment, the typical Macy’s shopper’s average age is 46, Fortune adds.
Macy’s has historically left a lot of money on the table by not targeting the wedding market, but that's changing. The retailer already sells many of the biggest-ticket wedding items, like rings and gowns, and is now taking steps to bundle traditional offerings in bridal apparel and rings alongside spa offerings.
Macy’s also has expanded its jewelry offerings to include better quality designer rings, and reorganized internally so that wedding registry and stylist employees report to the same store manager, according to Fortune.
Macy's has lost out to discount retailers like those of TJX, a reality that moved Macy's to create its own off-price unit, Backstage. But discount retailers and specialty retailers have also captured much of the lucrative wedding market.
The new wedding focus has a lot of potential for Macy's, according to A.T. Kearney partner Adheer Bahulkar. “There is a big white space here,” Bahulkar told Fortune. “They have the chance to reach customers they haven’t served before if they do this right.”
Macy’s recently displaced last year's winner Kohl’s to take top honors among department stores in Harris Poll’s 28th annual EquiTrend Brand Equity Index. The index measures brands’ health over time: Macy’s rose at least 7% from 2015 on key factors of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration.