Bring on the Bridal

Bridal and bachelorette celebrations have a stronghold in almost all cultures. However, these celebrations are ever-changing and vary from bride to bride. What is invariable in the Western economy is the demand for products that will put all the attention on the bride-to-be surrounding her big occasion.

Party & Paper Retailer got to visit with some of the industry’s leading bridal and bachelorette product manufacturers to get the scoop on what’s new for in-demand items and which products and price points retailers are seeing the most success.

What’s new for wearables in the bridal/bachelorette category?

Valerie Federici, Amscan: The demand for bridal-themed apparel has skyrocketed! From tanks, shorts and sweatshirts to tutus, socks and suspenders, Amscan has completely revamped their bachelorette collections to reflect this ongoing trend. 

Dawn Kirschner, Unique: New items like our cowboy hats with veil, buttons and ribbons that indicate the Bride to Be, Maid of Honor and Team Bride, in addition to Martini Glass LED necklaces are great for bachelorette parties and have been proven to be great ways to showcase the bridal party on their night out.

Lar Hovsepian, Dreamgirl International: A great seller for us from the new collection, Style 9713, (which) features a pleated chiffon flyaway back baby doll.

Which classic products would you recommend to party-store owners?

Federici: Tiaras are a must-have for bachelorette. … Favor boxes are a versatile option that will do well for wedding and beyond. With the DIY bride movement in full force, lots of ladies are baking sweet treats in lieu of a traditional favor. 

Catherine Korfel, Eldorado: The classics that should always be stocked are sashes, tiaras and tableware.

KirschnerClassic items like tiaras, and sashes, as well as flashy eye-catching items like blinking buttons and noise-making items like whistles are great to have. Shot-glass bead necklaces and party masks are sure to be attention getters for a girl’s night out.

Hovsepian: White lace will always perform well for the bridal season, but adding sexy silhouettes and novel trims and touches to the styles can help give them a different twist to traditional lace.Color blocking has been a big trend for the past few years and in the lingerie world, some of the best colors that “marry” together the best are black and white.

What is the most surprising bridal/bachelorette product that’s been successful?

Korfel: Bridal/bachelorette games have been doing very well.

Federici: For bridal, we released a wonderful new collection of cake toppers and décor. In the mix of updated figurines there are two cake toppers perfect for the couple with a sense of humor. One bride pulls the groom to by his leg, the other has him caught by his tie — I can’t help but chuckle when I see them. Customers love them so much that they had sold out, but we’re expecting a new shipment shortly.

Kirschner: Wedding photo booth props, bride-to-be tiara with veil, and bride to be sash have been great sellers for us. Other hot items include our diva bead metallic bead necklace, bride-to-be necklace and bachelorette party masks.

What are some of the most successful novelties you’re seeing?

Federici: For bachelorette, we’ve been doing very well with veiled headwear. We’ve added fun new looks for this fall, everything from your go-to tiara to cowboy hats and fascinators. We’ve even put together these adorable knee socks with a little veiled train at the back — they are super cute! Light up diamond rings and beads are also always a hit. They are an inexpensive way to make a group look festive and part of the celebration.

Korfel: The classic sashes and tiaras are a consistent best seller, but raunchy bachelorette items do great as well.

What product price point do you see retailers having the most success with in the bridal/bachelorette product category?

Kirschner: Many of our most successful items typically retail between $3 and $5.

Federici: Being in a bridal party these days can be very expensive, so many girls will be cost- conscious when selecting their party swag. Then again, in some cases money is no object and they prefer to splurge. ... We suggest a strategy of good, better, best — hit the consumer at all ends of the spectrum. For example, we feature three types of sashes: a multipack of eight sashes for $7.99, a sequined fabric version that retails for $4.99 each and, for the true diva, we have another that has all the bells and whistles at $9.99. ... Mix and match value multipacks also tend to do very well. It allows the girls to offer a lot of options to their pals so they can pick their favorite accessories to complete their outfit.

Hovsepian: Due to shrinking budgets, a consumer is always looking for the best price per value equation when it comes to shopping for anything in retail stores or online. For the bridal/bachelorette product category, our brand has seen particular strength in the $6 to $7 retail price point for panties, $23.95 to $25.95 for packaged bridal pieces, and $29.95 to $37.95 for intricate hanging nuptial styles. It is important for a retailer to carry stock in a variety of styles in different price points to entertain the various motives for the purchase. Consumers looking to purchase a quick gift for a bachelorette party or bridal shower may be looking for a lower price point, and may be looking for a single-size product to avoid any embarrassing moments of trying to guess a bride’s size.

Korfel: The best price for these types of items would be between $2 to $15 because most of these products are one-time use, disposable items.

— By Leigh Jajuga, Special to Party & Paper Retailer

Originally posted Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2015