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The U.S. Marriage Market: The Engaged and Newlyweds as Consumers of Household Goods

Marketers, retailers, bridal magazines, bridal shows, and online wedding resources are increasingly coordinating their efforts to capture the business of the engaged/recently married population. A major focus has been to expand the marriage market beyond its traditional categories, particularly to encompass all home products, including major appliances, furniture, and consumer electronics, as well as the more traditional tableware, linens, small appliances, and cookware. Moreover, to extend the reach of their bridal/gift registries, retailers have been taking them online, and retail nonpareil Wal-Mart has now committed fully to the registry concept. This Packaged Facts report provides comprehensive demographic profiles of engaged or recently married U.S. consumers, along with market size estimates and trend projections. An examination of overall marketing trends precedes individual chapters on Household Appliances and Furnishings, Consumer Electronics, Kitchenware/Tableware/Linens, and The Retail Arena, each of which uses current Simmons Market Research Bureau consumer data, supplemented by market data from a wide array of other sources, to analyze the impact of the engaged/recently married population in myriad product categories.


Scope and Methodology

Market Parameters

This report examines the marriage market, which Packaged Facts defines as including both engaged men and women as well as those who have been married for 12 months or less. Following a Statistical Overview chapter on the marriage market demographic, this report provides focus chapters on Marketing Trends, Household Appliances and Furnishings; Electronics; Kitchenware, Tableware, and Linens; and the Retail Arena.


Report Methodology

The information contained in this report was obtained from primary data and secondary research. The analysis of consumer demographics primarily derives from the Simmons Market Research Bureau (New York, NY) fall 2000 consumer survey, based on 31,576 respondents. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from relevant trade, business, and government sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau.

The following companies are mentioned within the scope of The Retail Arena chapter.

Department / Home Stores, such as Sears, Macy's, Eddie Bauer, JC Penney, Kohls, Bed Bath and Beyond, Dillards, Service Mechandise, Kaufmann's, Foley's, Robinson's May Co., Frank's Nursery & Crafts, Filene's, Marshall Field's, Carson Pirie Scott, Linens 'n Things, and Lord & Taylor.

Discount Stores, such as WalMart, KMart, Target, TJ Maxx, Marshall's, Ames, Dollar General Store, Family Dollar Stores, Big Lots, Value City, Meijer, Ross and Mervyn's.

Children's Stores, such as Toys 'R Us, Warner Bros., Disney, Kids 'R Us, Gap Kids / Baby Gap, Babies 'R Us and Kay Bee Toy & Hobby Shop.

Office Supply / Computer Stores, such as Staples, Office Depot, Radio Shack, CompUSA, Office Max, and Software, Etc.

Home Electronic Stores, such as Best Buy, Circuit City and Radio Shack.

Home Improvement Stores, such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Menard and Payless Cashways.

Catalogs, such as JC Penney's, Fingerhut, L.L. Bean and Land's End.

PRESS RELEASE

Number of newlyweds in the U.S. predicted to rise 2% by 2006 to reach market potential of $272 billion

New York, January 21/PRNewswire - The after-tax income of the engaged and newlywed population of the U.S. reached $229.5 billion in 2001, an 11.2% increase from 1997, according to The U.S. Marriage Market: The Engaged and Newlyweds as Consumers of Household Goods, a new research report published by Packaged Facts and available through MarketResearch.com. As the size of the Marriage Market grows over the coming years, the income of this enormously important consumer demographic is expected to hit nearly $272 billion by 2006. The U.S. Marriage Market explores in detail both the trends that will contribute to this market expansion, and the effect that a growing market will have on key players.

Newlyweds and the engaged are among the nation’s largest consumers of major appliances, furniture, and consumer electronics, as well as tableware, linens, small appliances, and cookware, often obtaining these items as wedding presents selected through a registry. Household goods represent up to ninety percent of the registry business, and nearly 93% of engaged couples register their wedding gift choices, with 95% of future grooms taking part in the registration process.

“Not only are greater numbers of people getting engaged and married in the United States, but they are also registering for more gifts and at multiple stores,” said Meg Hargreaves, VP of Research Publishing for MarketResearch.com. “The population of engaged and recently married couples represents a significant and growing opportunity to retailers.”

The U.S. Marriage Market: The Engaged and Newlyweds as Consumers of Household Goods provides comprehensive demographic profiles of engaged or recently married U.S. consumers, along with market size estimates and trend projections.

  • Executive Summary
    • Scope And Methodology
      • Market Parameters
      • Report Methodology
    • Statistical Overview
      • "Engaged" And "Newlywed" Are Subjective Terms
      • Packaged Facts Methodology For Marriage Population Estimates
      • Longstanding Rise In Marriages Reversed In 1990s
      • Rate Of Household Formation To Rise
      • Engaged/Newlywed Population To Near 13 Million By 2006
      • Marriage Market's Worth To Top $270 Billion By 2006
        • Table Aggregate Income Of U.S. Marriage Market: By Segment, 1997-2006
      • Overall U.S. Population Trends Suggest Mixed Prospects For Marriage Market
      • Growth Of Minority/Ethnic Populations Bodes Well For Market
      • Women Age 18-24 Three Times More Likely To Be Engaged
      • Engaged Men Tend To Work Full-Time
      • High Incidences Of Engaged Women And Men In Largest Households
      • Newlywed Population Is Distinctly Older
      • All Non-Whites Figure Significantly Among Newlyweds
      • Newlywed Women Better Off Than Women In General
    • Marketing Trends
      • Engaged Women Vs. Their Non-Engaged Peers
      • Nearly Half Of Newlyweds Buy Sheets
      • Registries Account For Sizable Share Of Marriage Market
      • Wal-Mart Extends Registry To All Outlets
      • Couples Register At Two Or More Retailers
      • Here Comes The Groom
      • Bridal Magazines Coordinate Efforts Of Other Market Players
      • Marketers Promote Brand Awareness At Shows
      • Internet Cited As Primary Information Source
      • Williams-Sonoma Adds Online Registry
      • Engaged/Newlywed Population Also Buying Online
    • Household Appliances And Furnishings
      • The American Wedding: Invitation To a Buying Spree
      • Engaged/Newlywed Population Are Likely Appliance/Durable Buyers
      • Newlyweds Buy Wide Array Of Household Furnishings
    • Electronics
      • 50% Of Engaged Men Use Portable Cellular Phones
      • Population Favors Electronic Personal Notebook Organizers
      • Two-Tv Skew For The Engaged
      • Newlyweds Favor Vhs Camcorders
    • Kitchenware, Tableware, And Linens
      • Newlyweds Are Likely Buyers Of Kitchen Appliances
      • Cookware Appeals To Entire Engaged/Newlywed Population
      • Young Engaged Women Are Very Kitchen-Conscious
      • Tableware Appeals Predominantly To Women
      • Engaged Women Are Prime Purchasers Of Sheets/Pillowcases
    • The Retail Arena
      • Gender a Significant Factor In Type Of Store Shopped
      • Newlywed Men Are Department Store Shoppers
      • The Influence Of Registries
      • Bed-And-Bath Stores Attract Newlywed Women
      • Eddie Bauer Appeals To Both Sexes
  • Statistical Overview
    • Introduction
      • "Engaged" And "Newlywed" Are Subjective Terms
      • Packaged Facts Methodology For Marriage Population Estimates
      • Longstanding Rise In Marriages Reversed In 1990s
      • Marriage Rate Declining Since 1972
      • Longstanding Trend Toward Later First Marriages
      • But Marriage Still Alive And Well
      • Older Couples Have More Spending Power
      • Household Growth Slows
      • Married-Couple Households Lag Behind
      • Increases In Cohabitation And Single-Parent Households
      • Rate Of Household Formation To Rise
      • Outlook Mixed For Young Married-Couple Households
        • Table Number Of Marriages And Rate Per 1,000 Population, 1990-2001
        • Table Median Age At First Marriage By Decade
        • Table Percent Of Women And Men Never Married By Selected Age Group, 1970 Vs. 2000
        • Table Growth Of U.S. Households By Type, 1970-2000
    • Market Size And Growth
      • Number Of Engaged/Newlyweds Declines From 1997 To 2001
      • Engaged/Newlywed Population To Near 13 Million By 2006
      • Marriage Market Valued At $230 Billion In 2001
      • Marriage Market's Worth To Top $270 Billion By 2006
      • The Key Marriage Market Age Groups
      • Shrinking Of Key Age Groups Spurred Drop In Marriages
      • Overall U.S. Population Trends Suggest Mixed Prospects For Marriage Market
      • Growth Of Minority/Ethnic Populations Bodes Well For Market
        • Table Estimated Growth Of U.S. Engaged/Newlywed Population, 1997-2001
        • Table Projected Growth Of U.S. Engaged/Newlywed Population, 2001-2006
        • Table Aggregate Dollar Growth Of U.S. Marriage Market, 1997-2001
        • Table Projected Aggregate Dollar Growth Of U.S. Marriage Market, 2001-2006
        • Table Population Growth Of Selected Age Groups, 1995-2000
        • Table Population Projections By Selected Five-Year Age Group, 2001-2006
        • Table Projected Growth Of Selected Minority/Ethnic Populations, 2001-2006
    • Engaged Demographics
      • The Simmons Survey System
      • Women More Likely To Consider Themselves Engaged
      • Most Engaged Women Are Under Age 35
      • Women Age 18-24 Three Times More Likely To Be Engaged
      • Engaged Men Somewhat Older Than Engaged Women
      • Blacks Over-Represented In Marriage Market
      • Low Incidence Of Engaged Women In Northeast
      • Engaged Population Has Downscale Educational Profile
      • Engaged Men Tend To Work Full-Time
      • Engaged Women Over-Represented Among Service Workers
      • Engaged Men Clustered In Blue-Collar Jobs
      • Engaged Men More Affluent Than Engaged Women
      • High Incidences Of Engaged Women And Men In Largest Households
      • Over-Represented In Households With Young Children
      • Engaged Likely To Be Apartment Dwellers, Renters
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Engaged Population By Age Bracket, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Engaged Population By Racial/Ethnic Origin, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Engaged Population By Census Region, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Engaged Population By Level Of Formal Education, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Engaged Population By Occupation, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Engaged Population By Household Income, 2000
    • Newlywed Demographics
      • The Simmons Survey System
      • Newlywed Population Is Distinctly Older
      • All Non-Whites Figure Significantly Among Newlyweds
      • South Is Newlywed Capital
      • Downscale Educational Profile For Newlywed Men
      • Newlywed Women Figure Strongly As Homemakers
      • Newlywed Men Work Full- Or Part-Time
      • Newlywed Women Hold Clerical, Service Jobs; Men Are Blue-Collar
      • Newlywed Women Better Off Than Women In General
      • Newlyweds Indicated For Two-Person Households
      • High Incidences Of Newlyweds In Households With Young Children
      • Mobile Home Dwellers, Renters Prominent Among Newlyweds
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Population By Age Bracket, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Population By Racial/Ethnic Origin, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Population By Census Region, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Population By Level Of Formal Education, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Women By Occupation, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Men By Occupation, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Women By Household Income, 2000
        • Table Distribution Of U.S. Newlywed Men By Household Income, 2000
  • Marketing Trends
    • The Engaged And Newlyweds As Prime Consumers
      • Bridal Magazines Study Buying Behavior
      • Engaged Women Vs. Their Non-Engaged Peers
      • Propensity To Buy Furniture And Home Electronics
      • Buying Behavior Of Newlyweds Compared To Total Population
      • Three Times More Likely Than Average To Buy Tabletop
      • Cookware Is Most Popular Segment Of Housewares
      • Nearly Half Of Newlyweds Buy Sheets
      • Other Categories: Newlyweds Outscore Population At Large
    • The Role Of Registries
      • Historical Background And Description
      • Wal-Mart Extends Registry To All Outlets
      • Couples Register At Two Or More Retailers
      • Here Comes The Groom
      • Registries Account For Sizable Share Of Marriage Market
    • The Role Of Bridal Magazines
      • Proliferation Of Titles Stimulates Market
      • Bridal Magazines Coordinate Efforts Of Other Market Players
      • Bridal Magazines Continue To Prosper
      • New Titles Keep Appearing
    • The Role Of Bridal Shows
      • Magazine-Affiliated Shows Among The Largest
      • Other Traveling Bridal Shows
      • Marketers Promote Brand Awareness At Shows
      • Some Retailers Register Brides At Outside Shows
    • The Marriage Market And The Internet:The Net As Planning Resource
      • Demographics Of Engaged/Newlywed Populationcorrespond To Those Of Internet Users
      • Internet Cited As Primary Information Source
      • Engaged/Newlywed Population Also Buying Online
    • The Marriage Market And The Internet:Online Wedding Resources
      • One-Stop Wedding Planning And Shopping
      • Focus: Weddingchannel.Com
      • Focus: Theknot.Com
      • Focus: Modernbride.Com
      • Marthastewart.Com Enters Registry Arena
      • Others Vying For Internet Wedding Planning Traffic
    • The Marriage Market And The Internet:Online Registries And In-Store Computer Kiosks
      • Quest For Consumer Dollars Goes Multichannel
      • Online Shoppers Spend More Than Store-Only Shoppers
      • Bridal Sales Rise 30% At Williams-Sonoma
      • Penney's: Greater Participation By Grooms
      • Target Stores: Better Communication With Customers
      • Department Store Registries Pioneered Kiosks
      • Kiosks Allow Storesto Expand Offering Beyond What Is Displayed
      • Major Retailers Climb On Kiosk Bandwagon
      • Kiosks Not For Everyone
  • Household Appliances And Furnishings
    • Household Appliances/Durables
      • The Simmons Survey System
      • The American Wedding: Invitation To a Buying Spree
      • Engaged/Newlywed Population Big On Appliances/Durables
      • Vacuum Cleaners, Washing Machines Popular With The Engaged
      • Hoover Themes Ads To Bridal Market
        • Table Selected Types Of Appliances/Durables Bought In Last 12 Months
    • Household Furnishings
      • Attract Significant Proportions Of Engaged/Newlywed Purchasers
      • Newlyweds Buy Wide Array Of Household Furnishings
      • Bedroom Furniture More Popular Withengaged/Newlywed Population Than With Adults Overall
      • Newlyweds Stand Out As Sofabed Purchasers
      • Highest Incidences Of Purchase For Infant Furniture
      • Engaged Women Likely To Acquire Floor Lamps
      • Window Coverings: Average Likelihood Of Purchase
      • Engaged Women Much More Likely Than Singlesto Buy Many Types Of Furnishings
      • Newlywed Women In Top Spending Bracketfor Bedroom Furniture
      • Newlywed Men Spend Morethan Newlywed Women On Table Lamps
      • Ready-Made Draperies: Newlyweds Spend $50-$149
        • Table Types Of Household Furnishings Bought In Last 12 Months
        • Table Types Of Household Furnishings Bought In Last 12 Months: By Gender
        • Table Selected Amounts Spent On Various Household Furnishings Bought In Last 12 Months
  • Electronics
    • Telephone Equipment
      • The Simmons Survey System
      • Engaged/Newlywed Males Outscore Female Counterparts
      • Pager/Beeper Appeals Across The Board
      • 50% Of Engaged Men Use Portable Cellular Phones
      • Motorola, At&T Brands Hold Appeal
        • Table Selected Types Of Telephone Equipment Bought In Last 12 Months
        • Table Type Of Cellular Telephone Used
        • Table Purpose Of Cellular Telephone Use
        • Table Selected Brands Of Cellular Telephone Used
    • Personal Computers
      • Population Less Inclined To Use Personal Computers For E-Mail
      • 19% Of Newlywed Women Spend Less Than Two Hours On Home Pc
      • Typical Patterns By Computer Brand And Cost
      • Specialty Stores Are Leading Outlets
      • Computer Peripherals Not a Priority
      • Population Favors Electronic Personal Notebook Organizers
        • Table Personal Computers At Home: Purposes Used
        • Table Personal Computers At Home: Number Of Hours Used Daily
        • Table Personal Computers For Home: Brands Owned
        • Table Personal Computers For Home: Cost Of Last Purchase
        • Table Personal Computer For Home: Top Channels Where Purchased
        • Table Types Of Computer Peripherals Owned
    • Television Sets And Videocassette Recorders
      • Two-Tv Skew For The Engaged
      • Tv Is Likely Recent Acquisition
      • Engaged Population Tends To Smaller-Screen Tvs
      • Different Brands For Engageds And Newlyweds
      • Spending Patterns For Tvs
      • Population Tends To Own Two Vcrs
      • Vcr Preferences By Brand
        • Table Television Sets: Number In Household
        • Table Television Sets: Type Acquired Most Recently
        • Table Screen Size And Other Features Of Tv Acquired Most Recently
        • Table Tvs: Brands Owned
        • Table Cost Of Tv Acquired Most Recently
        • Table Vcrs: Brands Owned
    • Camcorders And Video Cameras
      • Newlywed Men Are Likely Owners
      • Newlyweds Favor Vhs Camcorders
      • Patterns By Brand
      • Spending Skews To Lower Brackets
        • Table Camcorders/Video Cameras: Ownership, Bought In Last 12 Months, Number Owned
        • Table Camcorders/Video Cameras: Types Owned
        • Table Camcorders/Video Cameras: Brands Owned
        • Table Camcorders/Video Cameras: Cost
    • Disposable Cameras And Still Cameras
      • Hooked On Disposable Cameras
      • Women Are Better Camera Customers
      • Women Prefer Kodak And Polaroid, Men Go For Canon
      • Newlywed Women Likely To Own Multiple Cameras
      • Population Drawn To Lower-Price Cameras
        • Table Disposable Cameras: Used In Last 12 Months, Brands Used
        • Table Still Cameras: Ownership, Acquired In Last 12 Months, Type Acquired Most Recently
        • Table Still Cameras: Brands Of Newest Owned
        • Table Still Cameras: Number Owned
        • Table Still Cameras: Cost Of Newest
    • Stereo/Radio Equipment And Records/Discs/Tapes
      • Population Favors Newer Types Of Equipment
      • Patterns By Gender
      • Cd Player Is Likely Recent Acquisition
      • Engaged/Newlywed Women's Musical Tastes Are More Eclectic
      • Specialty Stores Are Outlets Of Choice For Engaged Population
      • 12% Of Engaged Women Purchased 10-19 Cds
        • Table Stereo/Radio Equipment: Types Owned
        • Table Stereo/Radio Equipment: Types Bought In Last 12 Months
        • Table Records/Discs/Tapes: Kind Bought Most
        • Table Records/Discs/Tapes: Where Bought Most
        • Table Compact Discs: Number Purchased In Last 12 Months
  • Kitchenware, Tableware, And Linens
    • Kitchen Appliances And Cookware
      • The Simmons Survey System
      • Newlyweds Are Likely Buyers Of Kitchen Appliances
      • Newlyweds Favor Small Appliances Also
      • Cookware Appeals To Entire Engaged/Newlywed Population
      • Young Engaged Women Are Very Kitchen-Conscious
      • Kitchenware Marketers Target Marriage Market Through Advertising
      • In Marriage And Kitchenware, Choice Is Critical
        • Table Major Kitchen Appliances Bought In Last 12 Months
        • Table Small Kitchen Appliances Bought In Last 12 Months
    • Tableware
      • Appeals Predominantly To Women
      • Purchasing Is Strongly Marriage-Related
      • Newlywed Women Are Likeliest Purchasers
      • Note On Spending Levels
      • Marriage Market Accounts For Largest Share Of Tableware Advertising
      • Tableware a Lifetime Choice
        • Table Tableware Types Bought In Last 12 Months
        • Table Percent Of Adults Spending Under $100 On Tableware By Type
    • Linens
      • Popular Purchase With Adults Overall
      • Engaged Women Are Prime Purchasers Of Sheets/Pillowcases
      • Comforters/Quilts Appeal Strongly To Engaged/Newlywed Population
      • Engaged/Newlywed Population Spends Moderately On Linens
      • Quality More Important To Engaged Women Than To Single Women Overall
      • Marketers Support Registry Business With Advertising
        • Table Bedding, Bath & Linens: Types Bought In Last 12 Months
        • Table Sheets/Pillowcases: Amount Spent In Last 12 Months
        • Table Towels: Amount Spent In Last 12 Months
        • Table Bed Pillows: Amount Spent In Last 12 Months
        • Table Comforters/Quilts: Amount Spent In Last 12 Months
        • Table Tablecloths/Napkins: Amount Spent In Last 12 Months
  • The Retail Arena
    • Department/Home Stores
      • The Simmons Survey System
      • Gender a Factor In Type Of Store Shopped
      • Note On Department, Discount, And Children's Stores
      • Newlywed Men Are Department Store Shoppers
      • Influence Of Registries
      • Sears And Penney's Attract Similar Proportion Of Newlywed Women
      • Kohl's: Below-Average Appeal To Engaged/Newlywed Customer
      • Bed-And-Bath Stores Attract Newlywed Women
      • Eddie Bauer Appeals To Both Sexes
      • Service Merchandise, Frank's Draw Newlywed Women
        • Table Department/Home Stores Shopped In Last 3 Months
    • Discount Stores
      • Engaged/Newlywed Status Not a Factor At Wal-Mart
      • Strong Draw Of Newlywed Women At Kmart
      • Target Hits Engaged Men
      • Dollar, Closeout Stores Appeal Especially To Engaged Women
      • Marshalls Also Appeals To Engaged Women
      • Newlywed Women Favor Ames And Value City
        • Table Discount Stores Shopped In Last 3 Months
    • Children's Stores
      • Toys R Us Draws 19.5% Of Newlywed Women
      • Warner Bros. Lures Male Newlyweds, Too
      • Disney Store Has Special Appeal To Engaged Women
        • Table Children's Stores Shopped In Last 3 Months
    • Office Supply/Computer Stores
      • Low Appeal To Engaged Population
      • Gender Patterns At Superstores
      • Newlywed Men Post Index Of 143 At Radio Shack
        • Table Office Supply/Computer Stores Shopped In Last 3 Months
    • Home Electronics Stores
      • Men Are Prime Patrons
      • Best Buy Has Strong Following Among Engaged Men
        • Table Home Electronics Stores Shopped In Last 3 Months
    • Home Improvement Stores
      • No Extra Appeal To Engaged Or Newlywed Men
      • Higher Indices For Men Overall At Home Depot And Lowe's
      • Proportion Of Newlywed Men Rises With Frequency Of Visits
        • Table Home Improvement Stores Shopped In Last 3 Months
        • Table Home Depot: Number Of Visits In Last 3 Months
    • Catalogs
      • Lower Overall Appeal To Engaged Or Newlywed Population
      • Newlywed Women Are Prime Catalog Customers For Bed And Bath Furnishings, Housewares
      • 13% Of Newlywed Women Use Mail To Obtain Merchandise
      • 7% Of Newlywed Women Spend $500 Or More On Catalog Merchandise
      • Purchases For Self Versus Gifts
      • 12% Of Newlywed Women And 13.5% Of Women Use Jcpenney Catalog
        • Table Top Methods For Obtaining Merchandise From Catalogs
        • Table Catalogs: Amount Spent In Last 12 Months
        • Table Number Of Times Bought Merchandise From Catalogs For Self In Last 12 Months
        • Table Number Of Times Bought Merchandise From Catalogs As Gift In Last 12 Months
        • Table Catalogs Used In Last 12 Months
  • Addresses Of Selected Marketers

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