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Orchestrating rituals through retailers: An examination of gift registry

Authors
Journal
Journal of Retailing
0022-4359
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
89
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jretai.2013.01.005
Keywords
  • Ritual
  • Gift Giving
  • Brand Relationships
  • Registry
  • Identity

Abstract

Abstract We explore the phenomenon of gift registry as a specific ritual within a larger set of wedding rituals to understand interactions between consumers and retailers. We find that roles for retailers in family based rituals are expanding, given how consumers employ brands to negotiate meaning, experiences of identity, and the dispersion of social systems. These changes allow retailers, as ritual orchestrators, an opportunity to participate more fully in the gift registry ritual by shaping the experience for each type of ritual participant—bride, groom, and gift-giver. Our research contributes an interpretation of how consumers negotiate brand meaning within a temporary gift system, as they perform gift giving rituals situated squarely within the marketplace. We explore the implications these rituals have for the construction of identity, consumer-to-consumer and consumer-to-brand relationships. We provide suggestions for managers and directions for future research.

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