Personal Opinions Hurt Good Business Decisions


By Paul Pannone

Discussions in the Wedding Water Cooler raise questions from opinions given by its members through personal experiences that work in some markets. Similar findings in other markets  create exceptions to the rule but not necessarily “the rule”. Good business decisions by business people– not good people in business– are still the order of the day and will never be replaced by anecdotal, personal experience, no matter what happens.

Retailer admits unadvertised, unbranded dresses appeal to a lower segment of the market.


Such is the case surrounding the debate of whether branded goods should totally be abandoned in lieu of private label products. eWedNewz pressed proponents of private label goods that were unable, or unwilling, to succinctly give an answer. The question choices posed only included the following:

By a show of hands, how many of you feel branded merchandise; Vera Wang, Amsale, Monique Lhuillier — Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein etc, is important for success?

How many of you feel it is semi-important?

How many of you feel branded merchandise is a waste of resources and
totally unnecessary?

One member that alluded to the unnecessary inclusion of branded products in bridal retail selection said the following: 

“Branded merchandise will be important for high end retailers and for retailers who depend on the National branding to produce their customers because they cannot afford or don’t know how to brand themselves. Many, many retailers find the branding “semi-important” as they do both, brand their stores and use the national branding to drive traffic. Many of these retailers will work hard to switch the brand driven customer over to non-branded goods with the higher profit

My store is in your 3rd category where brands are so unnecessary that we remove the branding and remove our name from the manufacturer’s store locate feature.  We do this so there is not an easy path for price shoppers and internet customers who just want to “use” our staff and inventory. We have the resources to heavily market ourselves,” according to a retailer in the Florida market.

Discussions involving the use of branded goods spilled over into private conversations that felt the narrow-minded view is hurting stores that follow the thoughts. It is the opinion that not leveraging the power of brands and the interest in products and traffic they create is absolutely harmful to any business.

“Of course it is; I mean, that’s what is wrong with the wedding business today. No single-store has the resources to promote themselves or products no one ever heard of,” according to Jim Duhe. Duhe and a majority of other sources say the proper balance of branded and private label goods– along with with marketing, advertising and promotions including print and digital are the formula to success.

“There is no silver bullet in any of this. People need to discover what works best for them in the market they’re in. But there has to be a reason why David’s Bridal makes their own goods and also carries Vera Wang in all their stores nationally,” said Duhe.


While each store owner has the right to run their business anyway they see fit, eWedNewz is looking deeper into seminars that tout personal findings and opinions and why business owners would actually pay to listen to the opinions of others. 

 The discussions rage on in the Wedding Water Cooler but we welcome your thoughts. Please post them here or contact or 516-312-0090



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  1. Anonymous says:

    The first element that I see is that good customer service is what will make a business. I think it’s great if one can brand their own, but it never hurts to carry brands that customers might have seen in bridal magazines and desire. And if you don’t, and prefer to carry only your own brand, then know what the brides are looking at, so that you can show them what you have that will simulate the look they are trying to achieve.

    But more importantly, treat them well. In this business, it’s word of mouth that will make you or break you.

    Davina Dawn Sewing Specialties


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