With the recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage across the entire country, we are noting a distinct opportunity for retailers. Some early adopters are already advertising in the market, such as Tiffany & Co. above. We believe that gift-registries and wedding purchases can create lifetime customers for the right retailers. Leading national chains such as Macy’s, Williams-Sonoma, and Crate & Barrel are the likely winners, with many off to an early start. We believe many retailers will start with gender neutral language to signal a welcoming stance (like at Crate & Barrel) and begin including same-sex imagery added to the mix. Retailers with strong tuxedo rental or bridal businesses may see the earliest pops. For example, Savvi Formalwear has specialized home pages for same-sex tuxedo rental, where surprisingly Men’s Wearhouse does not.
Research has shown that an LGBT-inclusive message and a good experience can help elevate a brand not only among same-sex couples, but among general audiences as well. This is good news for risk-averse retailers, especially those with large footprints in conservative markets. We’re excited about the opportunities that the changes in the law provide. There aren’t traditions around same-sex marriages yet, therefore each retailer can help create them versus try to fit traditional ones. While we acknowledge that there is still some controversy about this in some markets, the savvy retailer will navigate the transition well and be poised to win in the long run. After all, love is love.
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