- 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 $129 and bridesmaid dresses from $59.99.
Its bridal dresses are currently only available online; cheaper bridesmaid dresses and accessories are sold in stores. One dress, which costs $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 $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 $39 and $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.