While the very first gift registry was the bridal registry created in 1924 by the Marshall Field Department Store, the retailer that brought gift registries into the modern age was Target. In 1995 Target introduced Club Wedd™, a self-service gift registry center where gift registry details were entered and accessed at an in-store electronic kiosk. Now, with the growth of the Internet and online shopping, the gift registry has become even more accessible, for both those who register and gift givers alike. Most retailers offer the ability to create, manage, access, and purchase from online gift registries on their websites.
As times have changed, gift registries have evolved. Created first for weddings, the gift registry was used solely for that purpose for many years. They are now commonly used for baby gifts and there is a growing trend toward creating gift registries for other popular events where gifts are traditionally given. We are seeing a growth in the creation of gift registries for birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations.
The gift registry is meant to serve as a convenience for both the recipient and the gift giver. Additionally, when gifts are purchased, the store handling the gift registry will record the purchase, helping to prevent duplicates and eliminating the need to return unwanted items later. With just a few clicks, a gift from a gift registry can be on its way to the intended recipient.