Wedding List Falls into Martha Stewart's Hands

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Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. yesterday entered the competitive wedding gift registry market with its acquisition of most of the assets of The Wedding List, a New York wedding registry and retailer.


The purchase by the New York-based company yields the Wedding List's retail stores' assets in New York, Boston and London, and the e-commerce site at theweddinglist.com.


"Our acquisition of this small but growing business accelerates marthastewart.com's entry into the wedding registry business and brings to [Martha Stewart Ominmedia] two new distribution platforms, online registry and retail showrooms," Martha Stewart, chairman/CEO of her self-named company, said in a statement.


This move comes almost a year after Della.com, Los Angeles, agreed to merge with WeddingChannel.com, San Francisco, reflecting the intensely competitive nature of the wedding registry business online.


Overall, the U. S. wedding business is estimated at $45 billion a year, dominated by big retailers.


The Wedding List will round off Martha Stewart Omnimedia's wedding franchise across various media platforms. She currently has the Martha Stewart Weddings magazine and books, TV programs with wedding segments, a newspaper column, a radio show and a wedding channel at marthastewart.com.


Martha Stewart Omnimedia said the Wedding List acquisition combines content with merchandising capability particularly to drive traffic to the Internet, although it will involve potential beyond that as well.


"This transaction will provide the foundation for other gift services as well, and enlarge our business beyond the bridal market," Stewart said.


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