Tools and tech: More grooms registering for gifts

Embarking on a quest to find the perfect toaster oven is a far cry from many a man's ideal Saturday. So it may come as a surprise that MyRegistry.com, a site that unifies shoppers' gift registries from stores across the Web, is eyeing male consumers as a key part of its growth strategy.

Though the move may seen counterintuitive, there are numbers to back it up. MyRegistry.com saw a 30 percent increase in male-selected items on the site last year, including things like power drills and sporting equipment.

Man shopping online
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To cater to this new wave of shoppers, the company—which has labeled 2015 "the year of the groom," announced a new partnership with Best Buy on Wednesday, and is talks with other male-centric retailers.

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"We were really surprised to see how many guests were adding tool sets from Home Depot or high-powered flashlights from Lowe's," said Nancy Lee, president of MyRegistry. "The kind of preconceived notion of what a gift registry is supposed to be is getting overshadowed little by little by reality."

MyRegistry.com users can drag and drop items from any retail website onto their universal registry. The site also syncs with the databases of 21 major retailers, including Macy's, Pottery Barn and Target. That way, shoppers can capitalize on the discounts and perks that these retailers offer newlyweds, while still being able to pool items from multiple stores.

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Although MyRegistry's list of retailers has traditionally been made up of female-oriented or unisex companies (with the exception of outdoor brand REI), Lee said retailers that skew more toward male shoppers have begun approaching the site, after noticing the business MyRegistry was sending them.

"They're looking at us scratching their heads," Lee said.

Price of ports' pain
Price of ports' pain   

Although Lee wouldn't offer a specific forecast for this year's sales of male-selected items, she said she expects to "blow past [last year's 30 percent growth] in an instant." Part of the site's appeal, she added, is that the groom doesn't actually have to visit a store to register for what he wants.

Because MyRegistry is private, Lee declined to provide sales figures for the company. She did, however, say that it facilitates "tens of millions" in sales to its partners annually.

According to the firm's data, the top gifts for grooms include hammocks, sleeping bags, tool sets, grills and shovels.