Apathy and Indifference Grips the Country; Sounds Like The Wedding Business

By Paul Pannone

Over the weekend news reports  that proclaim America is yawning at the possible collapse of the nation comes as no surprise to most.  According to ongoing discussions apathy and indifference to the troubles facing the nation is a natural progression to how Americans view the problems after continuous coverage and nothing really extraordinary ever happening.

(yawn) An asteroid falling from the sky; another bomb explosion in the Middle east…. Zzzzzzzzzz. When’s the new I-phone coming out?

 

Members of the Wedding Water Cooler say the view of the world has distorted claiming half the people in America have less in savings in the bank than they spend on the newest I-phone. To prove our point we tweeted the statement while writing this story and got relatively little response back, other than the usual voices who are passionate about how they feel.

A year after eWedNewz reported Dessy selling products online, direct to consumers, the outrage quelled into an apathetic stance– along with many other issues that plague the wedding business.

 

More of the discussions in the cooler point to the people who just muddle through life instead of picking and choosing what really matters. The usual laments revisited several topics including the online sale of products by Dessy to consumers. The original story and follow-up showed overwhelming opposition to the practice.

An update still shows 76% of replies say manufacturers should not sell goods direct to consumers.

Similarly, opposition to manufacturers opening stores to compete with accounts was also struck down in a poll:

An update shows 78% oppose this action.

Over time similar polls that asked if it matters where products are made favored buying American if prices were about the same as products made in China or elsewhere. One poll in particular  overwhelmingly favors support to a wedding industry organization if it offered good benefits, was properly run and didn’t break the bank to join. Yet the show of support falls short of financial commitment when it comes time to make good on promises or to reach into the pocket and pull out the money.

The story was picked up by The New York TimesReporter, Stacey Solie, asked us why more people aren’t talking about this. Stacey’s story gives one account of hundreds-of-thousands of online transactions happening every year affecting the wedding dress business.

“What’s frustrating about that is it’s just another news story that people breeze over. But to our business  it’s the difference between keeping the lights on in lean months,” according to Steve Lang, President and Founder of ABPIA.

Lang and other WWC members say they’re interested in the principle behind why these issues exist. As the CEO of his own company Lang has more latitude to express his feelings freely when compared to other members who work and must rely on their means of support above giving their opinion.

“Thank God I am not interested in winning a popularity contest; I’ll just continue to do what I’m doing and hope that sooner or later people realize this is for the good of their business and in their best interest to support the efforts in whatever way they can,” says Lang.

 

How apathetic are you?

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2013

The Week of February 11th in Review

 

 

 

By Paul Pannone

The wedding business continues to undergo the necessary changes to again appeal to consumers who’ve taken flight away from the same misinformation that’s been around for several generations. A move away from traditional methods of planning a wedding and towards recommendations from friend, family and trusted sources leaves many wedding marketers and those who (prey) make a living on the emotions of couples high and dry.

An ongoing poll shows 46% of respondents  feel wedding websites are outdated, no longer a factor and to the extreme extinct, now that the use of Social Media grows exponentially.

As a result newsstand sales of major bridal publications, specifically BRIDES magazine, continue to slide. eWedNewz readers say they’re amazed to learn subscription rates seem to rise as quickly as newsstand sales decline.

The distribution of printed material is hurt by both digital mediums; websites and Social Media.

eWedNewz continues to investigate the source of negativity in the wedding business, fueled by old-time marketers who have a firm grasp on the past and are unwilling to let go.

 

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2013

 

 

The Week of February 4th in Review

By Paul Pannone

There is really nothing new to talk about when it comes to the wedding business, including directory listing website formats, now showing their age and facing obsolescence in the wake of the growing impact of Social Media. 47% of an ongoing poll so-far says wedding websites are outdated or extinct; only 24% so-far say they are fresh and up-to-date.

The decline is pegged to the declining number of formal weddings and rising number of wedding vendors competing for the lower numbers.

This week members of the Wedding Water Cooler identified and discussed wedding marketers who prey on newcomers to the industry or re-package old information and purport an old-time approach of selling to a new generation of brides and grooms to make a living.

Some of the marketers discussed includes Chris Evans, known for his battle fatigue, warlike approach to marketing. Evans was singled out because of his recent involvement with an ABC 20/20 segment that raised questions about the wedding industry– portraying it as a breeding ground for ripping off brides and grooms.

Attempts to contact Evans remain unsuccessful, along with other wedding marketing experts who refuse to return emails and calls. eWedNewz plans to ramp up our efforts in the weeks and months ahead.

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2013

Yale Graduate Student Study Supports eWedNewz Reporting

By Paul Pannone

eWedNewz coverage of the shrinking traditional wedding market and its impact on vendors has sent Talking Heads of the industry, “Marketing Gurus” and their opinions to their room. Sources of spouts, rants, raves and supporters of back-slapping industry events who normally purport their opinions as fact are staying within their realm of expertise– away from the fray– when challenged to present evidence to dispute the findings of this newZ source about the shrinking number of marriages and rising number of wedding vendors to service the smaller numbers.

 Neil Carr, a graduate student at Yale School of Management conducting a study of the wedding business, supports this Newz source findings and conclusions about the wedding business. After years of surveys, discussion and debates all signs point to the wedding business in serious trouble, as the number of formal, traditional weddings decline and a greater number of start-up businesses fight for the shrinking numbers.

 

Anecdotal information and opinions are  replaced by respected data sources who do not have an ax to grind or hold any reason to dispute the credible findings of revered data sources, including PEW research, who report the cultural decline of marriages in the United States. While the market shrinks, more wedding businesses fight for the fewer numbers resulting in a decline in pricing ability and successful businesses.

An ongoing eWedNewz poll shows a majority of respondents (52%) say the wedding business is either stuck in neutral (24%) or deteriorating (28%).

 

Among a growing number of respected information sources contacting eWedNewz is Neil Carr of Yale Entrepreneurial Institute and a graduate student at Yale School of Management. A lengthy discussion with Carr last week agrees with eWedNewz findings, coinciding with his own independent study being conducted for Yale. Carr told eWedNewz the study is neither completed or conclusive but there is definite agreement between a three-year eWedNewz investigation and early findings of the Yale study.

Carr applied for membership in the Wedding Water Cooler for an unfiltered look at the wedding business and is being considered.

If you would like to contact Mr. Carr about his study email him at Neil.carr@yale.edu

eWedNewz continues our investigation into this story.

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2013

The Week of January 1st in Review

By Paul Pannone

The first week of 2013 marks a major moment in the wedding business and the realization that a growing number of couples are no longer rushing down the aisle or spending the amount of money their parents did. The ongoing trend is nothing new to those watching how couples wait longer to marry– if they do at all. Many live together  and have no qualm with having children out-of-wedlock, as society relaxes the rules.

The newZ forces hopeful wedding professionals to deal with the facts and give up hope the wedding business will ever return to the glory days before the economic collapse in 2008. In an ongoing poll a majority of respondents so-far say the wedding business is either deteriorating or stuck in neutral and in worse shape than anyone thought. Currently 23% say business is picking up but the recovery is a slow one.

In an ongoing eWedNewz investigation statements by wedding professionals tell how they’ve been forced to change the way they conduct their business, adjusting to the shifting marriage statistics. The newZ was reluctantly disputed by some wedding sources who’ve since fallen silent. Questionable statements involving local markets and odd data failed to give any substance to dispute the findings of this newZ source, so far.

 

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2013

The Week of December 17th in Review

 

By Paul Pannone

The world didn’t end on 21-21-2012 but the event may have helped push for the end of how some businesses operate in the future. An ongoing eWedNewz investigation looking at the bailout of big businesses shows how Social Media displaces traditional forms of operation, especially advertising. Established companies and those who head them are realizing it’s time to pack it in and enjoy the fruits of their labor, allowing a younger generation of CEO’s and management style that understands Social Media and connecting with today’s consumers to assume a leadership role.

The top newZ story for this week was the breaking story surrounding the sale of a majority stake in Jim’s formal wear to Armory. eWedNewz broke the story on December 20th, preceding a Press Release detailing the information. A private exchange with Gary Davis, CEO of Jim’s, told eWedNewz how the “family business” will now continue in the same way except now it’s two families running the company, not just one.

A follow up story explaining the changes taking place in the tuxedo rental business was prompted by feedback received from confused people of the tux regarding the move of Joseph Abboud, the person, now head of the creative department at Men’s Wearhouse. In an ongoing eWedNewz investigation malicious information spread by competing tuxedo manufacturers who create and make fictitious brand products spreading false rumors are found to be at the heart of the misinformation.

The world watched as the last victims of the shooting in Connecticut were laid to rest. eWedNewz continues to poll the community to see if posting in the usual way during such horrific events is proper.

 

Coming up this week we look back on what made top newZ in 2012.

 

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The Week of October 22nd in Review

By Paul Pannone

The top newZ story for the week of October 22nd involves the hottest selling colors in prom dresses for next season, according to event publications and famous designer, Tony Bowls. Bowls identified purple among top-selling dress colors along with gray and black.

Consumers shopping for dresses for next season drove a story we covered earlier this year about the average price of gowns up the chart. More and more consumers are finding the unfiltered information we’re writing about while searching on the internet. The newZ ties into the clean-up that is happening on the Internet, as consumers look to trusted, impartial sources that give facts and information; good, bad or indifferent.

In their search readers look to data from top sources, including Hearst, Bridal Guide and others who deal with consumers and give reliable  information based on real-life experiences.

The world was shocked to learn that after 70 years Clark Kent, a.k.a, Superman, is leaving his post at the Daily Plant to become a blogger. The move follows an ongoing story about how the internet continues to diminish the role of print.

 

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2012

Experts on Call Show, Sunday at 10am on AM800 CKLW | Don’t Miss the Call

 

By Paul Pannone

The Wedding Guide continues to direct brides in their area towards a beautiful wedding day planned with elegance and etiquette. The driving force behind the magazine is a dynamic woman, Sheryl Davies, who has become a friend to her followers and friends– apart from a valuable source of trend information.

 

20 years of excellence and migration from strictly print to a full-service wedding resource.

For the third time Sheryl asked us to be on call for her show tomorrow morning, September 16th, to weigh in on trend topics and the state of the wedding business.

“Thanks for saying yes again to the Experts on Call Show, Sunday at 10am on AM800 CKLW. I will be discussing trends for the upcoming 2013 season and the wedding pros with me will be a restaurant/catering facility in the Holiday Inn & Suites, Hospice and Charitable Giving, a new Winery and lavender farm and a frozen ice cream/Gelato entrepreneur who produces individual treats like Tartufo, baked Alaska, and Gelato roses. Your input is always well received, valuable and welcomed,” says Sheryl.

 

Listen in live!

 

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2012

The Week of September 3rd in Review

 

By Paul Pannone

The top story this week involves the continued troubles at BRIDES magazine, as Anne Fulenwider took flight back to her position at Hearst’s Marie Claire in less than a year after coming to BRIDES. An ongoing poll of eWedNewz readers says Conde’ Nast’s BRIDES magazine is broken despite efforts to fix falling newsstand sales.

FLOW Formal wear gave more details of how they’re helping family victims of military men and women. A campaign called Yellow Bow Tie includes Celebrity endorsements and branded products that will generate revenue for the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund in the years ahead. The story launched late in the week and was trending through the weekend.

The work of the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association continues to be noticed in the wedding and prom business NewZ of legal action against foreign crooks that steal American property and sell inferior gowns to unsuspecting consumers is reportedly working, according to sources at the organization

For the first time in weeks the sale of David’s Bridal drops from the top three spots, as the industry looks for changes in the structure and operation of the retailer.

 

 

eWedNewz

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2012

The Week of July 16th in Review

 

By Paul Pannone

 

Old, thought defunct and established websites needing a new image are getting re-vamped, as many are not able to be sold but still have value. Get Married gets a revamp but a current poll says advertisers are no longer interested in paying for third-party websites. But despite the move to change their ways the Taylor Corporation has a difficult road ahead, as most businesses invest and promote their own website and Social Networking campaigns instead of investing in third-party websites, according to an ongoing poll.

A move by the Barak Obama re-election campaign to get brides to fork over their wedding gifts has all but failed. In less than a month reports, supported by an ongoing eWedNewz poll, say the campaign is a bomb.

 

 

eWedNewz

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2012