Wedding list boom sparks e-tail warning

Retailers that fail to put their wedding lists online stand to lose out in the£250 million market unless they adopt the technology soon.

According to a report from Mintel, the market for wedding list services increased by nearly 43 per cent in volume terms between 1998 and 2002, and by 57.1 per cent in value from£161 million to£253 million.

The application of new technology will determine the future winners and losers in the sector, the study - Wedding List Services - reveals.

Market leader Debenhams has pioneered technological innovation in its services, from moving online to introducing hand-held scanning, but will be rivalled by John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, which have also launched online wedding list services.

Although Debenhams still leads the market in volume terms, John Lewis took the lead by value last year as the average list value is 50 per cent higher than at Debenhams.