George Hammer plans first ever Bridal department store in Marylebone
A one-stop shop for all things bridal is set to open in a building close to London’s Oxford Street with entrepreneur George Hammer, the beauty entrepreneur who founded the Urban Retreat brand, launching a new concept this month.
The Wedding Gallery will debut by the end of October in Number One Marylebone, the historic former church that has recently been used as offices and as an events location for fashion shows.
The large 20,000 sq ft space will be the first wedding department store in the UK with its offer including dresses, suits, accessories, stationery, flowers, cakes, catering, a photographer for the big day and insurance in case anything goes wrong. Couples will also be able to check out wedding DJs, singers and bands and book them directly. And there’s a wedding venue itself attached to the store with couples also able to marry in the classical building, The Guardian reported.
According to reports, wedding dresses will start form around £800 from a label like Needle & Thread going up to sky-high couture prices for one-off gowns.
With the average cost of a wedding heading towards £30,000 and having nearly doubled in recent years, the market potential is huge. And while the number of couples cohabiting rather than getting married is rising, the larger number of second (or even third) weddings among couples aged over 45, and same-sex couples marrying, have led to a boom in the sector.
Hammer told The Guardian that the plan is “to take all the sweat out of it. You know, turn the process into something that’s a pleasure not a torture.”
He told the newspaper that he has invested “several millions” in the store but admitted that it’s a risk as there is currently no comparable store to judge its chances by.
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