David's Bridal is looking to expand, pushing further into bridal adjacencies. It just announced a live TikTok sale in Nashville, selling a limited-edition NashBlast jacket hosted by "The Bachelorette" star Kaitlyn Bristowe. The point? The bridal market is nothing like it used to be. Jennifer Shipe, head of brand marketing and operations, tells Retail Insider what's happening.
Retail Insider: This event, shopping live via TikTok, follows quite a few TikTok events. Can you explain the shift in your thinking about social media and media in general?
Jennifer Shipe: Like every other retailer, our goal is to be as customer-obsessed as we can. So we have to be where customers are and where they are consuming media. Our focus has been primarily on TikTok because that's the channel built for all of us to be creators. Especially as we move beyond the bridal focus to clothing for juniors, it lets us create unique content. And TikTok is where they're spending their time.
Retail Insider: Have you cut back on other platforms?
Shipe: It's all about balance. So yes, we're on other social platforms, looking at what brings the highest reruns. These last few months, we've had the opportunity to utilize the beta with our recent partnership with January Digital and Kerv Interactive. It's all about testing, learning -- and finding the channels with the best return and most efficient spend.
Retail Insider: Many people might think of TikTok as a better blend of talking dogs and viral dance moves. Wedding dresses are more serious, no?
Shipe: That's what makes it such a great platform. It's all those things. It's not about shopping, but the experience. And as we're expanding beyond bridal, TikTok is about all her magical moments: proposing to her bridesmaids, shopping with her mom. The algorithm puts us in front of the customers where they are. It's the reason we launched Jules & Cleo, our junior brand. They have a bit of a different mindset. Whether it's prom dresses, homecoming or RushTok, it tees us up for these younger audiences.
Retail Insider: RushTok?
Shipe: Yep, it's huge, particularly in Southern schools -- they like to share what they're wearing and how they are putting together outfits on TikTok. It's an example of how we can insert David's in a natural way and capitalize on trends.
Retail Insider: How about the upcoming NashBash?
Shipe: So Nashville has become huge for bachelorette parties. That's the impetus for this collaboration with DanielXDiamond, a celebrity designer, and Kaitlyn Bristowe. Between her work on "The Bachelorette" and "Dancing with the Stars," she's got an incredible audience on TikTok. And she's a Nashville native. Again, it's back to our strategy of being where our customers are culturally, then naturally and seamlessly inserting our brand.
Retail Insider: How has the typical bride-to-be changed over the last several years? Has all this scheduling, canceling and rescheduling changed her?
Shipe: Yes! All bets are off. It's her day, her way. She's not fitting into the expectation of what a bride should or shouldn't wear or how she should get married. This is their chance to host a party and bring those they love the most together. If she wants to wear a black dress, a blue dress, a little dress or one that makes her look like a queen, she will. She's not following rules -- making this a day of expressing who she is.
Retail Insider: I just read something that says we should think of the pandemic era not as the Great Resignation but as the Great Contemplation.
Shipe: That's exactly it. It's allowed all of us time to think. So they're mixing and matching everything to be true to who they are. It's very creative -- even within the bridesmaid space. That's why it fits so well in social media -- think of how the pioneers of Pinterest and Instagram were all about curating and showing what you love.Retail Insider: Finally, about this DanielXDiamond jacket you'll be selling during the event. No one buys a wedding or bridesmaid dress at a bachelorette party. Explain the draw.
Shipe: DanielXDiamond dresses country stars, and the looks are so covetable -- lots of fringe and Nashville style. This one has a rose-gold fringe and is a limited edition of 1,000. There is a "bride" patch. And a "party patch." Girls and women are going to try and get their hands on it. And selling it live in Nashville? With Kaitlyn? It just feels like that perfect marriage for us. This isn't just for the bride. It's for anyone coming to Nashville to party.