Who doesn’t love Costco? It is where I buy gas, all of my electronic devices, and canned foods while tasting delectable treats along the way. I never thought I would be able to shop for hot dogs, new tires and a wedding gown in one place. Recently, I heard the news that Costco is about to enter the bridal market.
Being that I owned a local bridal shop for almost 15 years and consider myself a bridal expert, this came as a huge surprise. In this global, fast-food economy, there are very few vestiges of true intensive customer service businesses left, and it is a total shame to see the bridal industry become another commodity.
I keep thinking back to the 2006 Mike Judge movie Idiocracy where you could go to law school at Costco or even visit a time machine. Mike Judge got it right when he portrayed the warehouse giant as a place to do or get everything.
In order to stay relevant, companies are returning to a customer focused atmosphere. At my current job, we hold quarterly special events and maintain a personal client book to track special customers. The bridal industry is one where a girl getting married will hopefully visit often before her wedding. I usually began building relationships with my brides a year in advance because of the sensitive and personal nature of the business.
Price alone is not enough reason for customers to buy from you. You don’t have to sell everything to everybody. It is better to create a niche where you are the authority in your field and can offer something that no one else can, be it service, exclusivity or ambiance. Costco is missing all of these features when it comes to bridal.