Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Bridal registries replace matriarch with marketplace, new Notre Dame study shows

27.02.2013
Bridal registries might be efficient – sparing the gift-giver from hours of shopping and the recipient from having to return unwanted items. But that convenience may come at a cost: Where once the mom held great sway over selecting the intimate items that shaped the new household, now Target, Macy's and other retailers have taken over that role.

"Decades ago, the main role of the mother of the bride was creating the new home for the union of two families," says Tonya Williams Bradford, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Notre Dame. "By turning to bridal registries, we've outsourced to the marketplace the sacred traditions of planning and outfitting a new family space."

"For the retailer, it certainly has increased the revenue," Bradford says. "And for the bride and groom, there is a broader net for who can participate, because all that is necessary is to communicate the registry website to potential gift-givers."

In her ethnographic study "Orchestrating Rituals through Retailers: An Examination of Gift Registry" (with Notre Dame Marketing Chair John Sherry) recently published in the Journal of Retailing, Bradford examines gift registries as part of a larger set of wedding rituals, and the implications of retailers playing a central role.

Weddings are not only the union of brides and grooms in matrimony and the creation of new family units, but also a lucrative industry. The research shows that in 2010 an estimated $19 billion in gifts were purchased from registries by invited guests, making wedding industry revenues second only to those of Christmas.

And the cost lies in more than the price tag.

"Roles formerly held by parents and grandparents, we as consumers now outsource," Bradford says, "And we're happy to do it."

The study reveals a number of findings about shifting the once very personal ritual of gift-giving to existing squarely within the marketplace.

"There is stiff competition among retailers to be the gift registry destination," Bradford says, "but registries also have changed our social fabric. The notion of gift-giving used to hold much more sentimental value. Now, everything is pretty much purchased, and, sadly, many people don't put a lot of thought into customizing those purchases."

The study considers how gift registries in general have changed the act of gift giving, as well as family traditions associated with various occasions, from welcoming a new baby to sending a teen to college.

"We used to make beautiful gifts to celebrate the birth of a new baby," Bradford says, "Friends and family would crochet blankets and knit hats and booties. Now we simply shop a registry at Babies R Us."

There are ways to preserve a slice of lost traditions, Bradford says.

"For gift-givers, find ways to customize the gift you select from the registry—make it personal," she says. "For gift recipients, make receipt of the gift a ceremonious occasion. Don't just pick up the package from the porch. Be prompt and personalize your expression of gratitude, ideally on personalized stationary. Describe for the gift giver in detail how you intend to use the gift."

Tonya Williams Bradford | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nd.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers

26.06.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

New research reveals impact of seismic surveys on zooplankton

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Correct connections are crucial

26.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>