H&M's new bridal dresses cost between R1,556 ($129) and R3,606 ($299).
  • H&M launched its wedding shop in March where bridal dresses cost between R724 and R1,556. 
  • The retailer is likely looking to capture business from millennial shoppers who are choosing to dress in lower-priced, more casual dresses on their wedding day. 
  • But the wedding dresses are not heading to South Africa in the near future. 


H&M is going after price-conscious millennials with its wedding wear. 

The retailer launched a new collection of affordable wedding dresses for brides, bridesmaids, and guests at the end of March in the US. 

Brides are able to pick up a traditional long white dress for as little as R1,556 ($129) and bridesmaid dresses from R724 ($59.99).

Its bridal dresses are currently only available online; cheaper bridesmaid dresses and accessories are sold in stores. One dress, which costs R3,608.5 ($299), was reportedly inspired by Kate Middleton's wedding dress.

The wedding dresses are, however, not heading to South Africa in the near future, H&M South Africa told Business Insider South Africa  

H&M is likely cashing in on a millennial trend of dressing down on the big day. The average cost of a wedding in the US hit an all-time high of R426,101.3 ($35,329) in 2016, according to The Knot. Soaring costs have meant that brides are increasingly switching to lower-priced, ready-to-wear dresses. Anthropologie, Asos, and Reformation all have cheaper bridal collections. 

H&M.

This shift has dealt a blow to traditional bridal stores, which are now facing pressure to also offer lower-cost styles. 

In February, credit-ratings agency Moody's downgraded David's Bridal — a 300-store chain that sells wedding and bridesmaid dresses — to negative from stable, citing falling traffic and same-store sales over the past two years.

"In our view, this is a reflection of the intense competition in the sector and casualization of both gowns and bridesmaids dresses," Moody's analyst Raya Sokolyanska wrote in a note to investors.

The chain has tried to respond to changing trends by introducing a new range of casual dresses that cost between R470 ($39) and R4,822 ($400).

"We have seen an uptick in the trend towards casualization in weddings, likely attributed to the increase in brides willing to shop online," a representative for David's Bridal told Business Insider. "We've certainly reflected this in our bridal assortment."

H&M, which has struggled with sales in the past few years, could now be well-positioned to scoop up a new set of customers. 

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