Wednesday, February 11, 2009
From WSJ: "The Grim Forecast for 2009 Wedding Spending"
This just in from The Wall Street Journal::
"Bridal shopping season is just around the corner, following the bump in engagements that happens on Valentine’s Day. But this year, designers of wedding gowns and accessories are expected to take a hit. Sales of wedding gowns in the U.S. are expected to decrease 2.8% this year, compared with 2008, to reach $973 million, according to a new projection by Los Angeles-based market-research firm IBISWorld, which compiles its estimates based on reports from retailers’ and manufacturers’ industry groups. While the sales drop isn’t as large as the 4.2% decrease the wedding dress category saw in 2008, it represents a continuing decline in an area that had seen steady growth since at least 2001, says Toon van Beeck, a senior industry anylyst for IBISWorld.
He notes that the average amount spent on a wedding is expected to drop 8% in 2009 to reach $20,000—just two years ago, in 2007, the average amount that a couple spent on a wedding was $30,000.
“This year, the economy will play a big role” in wedding planning, Mr. van Beeck says, predicting that wedding spending will also likely be affected by couples who postpone their plans “so the ceremony can be done when the financial time is right.”
Other areas of the industry that are expected to take a hit include engagement rings and the hiring of wedding planners. Couples getting married in 2009 are expected to spend $785 million on hiring wedding planners, representing a decrease of 4.2% from the 2008 figure, Mr. van Beeck says. In 2008, the drop in spending on wedding planners was only 1.7%, he says. “Many of the 2008 weddings were already booked and paid for,” he says. But “for 2009, people were able to mitigate this cost, hence the steeper decline.”
There is, however, one small bright spot in the wedding industry business: Rentals. For several years, spending on wedding gown rentals had held steady at about $40 million each year. This year, however, spending on rented gowns is expected to rise 7.5% to reach $43 million."