This is a great idea! This local chain of hardware stores is only in San Francisco, but maybe other hardware stores will follow suit. Just look here to see the details for yourself.
Just think, instead of getting something probably overpriced, yet nice, and impractical, you could get just what you need--hammer, wood glue, ladder, door lock, power tool, paint....oh, happy day. I have a teacher friend who married. Teachers went in together and got him several Lowe's cards, sort of the same thing as the gift registry, except the givers can choose what to give. This is a win-win situation.
The registry is probably online, I forgot that detail. Even if a person had to call or visit the store, shopping would be so much faster.