- H&M launched its wedding shop in March.
- The retailer is likely looking to capture business from millennial shoppers who are choosing to dress in lower-priced, more casual dresses on their wedding day.
- The casualization of the industry has dealt a massive blow to traditional bridal stores such as Alfred Angelo and David’s Bridal.
H&M is going after price-conscious millennials with its wedding wear.
The retailer launched a new collection of affordable wedding dresses for brides, bridesmaids, and guests at the end of March.
Brides are able to pick up a traditional long white dress for as little as USD 129 and bridesmaid dresses from USD 59.99.
Its bridal dresses are currently only available online; cheaper bridesmaid dresses and accessories are sold in stores. One dress, which costs USD 299, was reportedly inspired by Kate Middleton’s wedding dress.
H&M is likely cashing in on a millennial trend of dressing down on the big day. The average cost of a wedding in the US hit an all-time high of USD 35,329 in 2016, according to The Knot. Soaring costs have meant that brides are increasingly switching to lower-priced, ready-to-wear dresses. Anthropologie, Asos, and Reformation all have cheaper bridal collections.
This shift has dealt a blow to traditional bridal stores, which are now facing pressure to also offer lower-cost styles.
In February, credit-ratings agency Moody’s downgraded David’s Bridal— a 300-store chain that sells wedding and bridesmaid dresses — to negative from stable, citing falling traffic and same-store sales over the past two years.
“In our view, this is a reflection of the intense competition in the sector and casualization of both gowns and bridesmaids dresses,” Moody’s analyst Raya Sokolyanska wrote in a note to investors.
The chain has tried to respond to changing trends by introducing a new range of casual dresses that cost between USD 39 and USD 400.
“We have seen an uptick in the trend towards casualization in weddings, likely attributed to the increase in brides willing to shop online,” a representative for David’s Bridal told Business Insider. “We’ve certainly reflected this in our bridal assortment.”
H&M, which has struggled with sales in the past few years, could now be well-positioned to scoop up a new set of customers.