By 2007, Hispanics will wield more than $900 billion in spending power, a 315 percent increase since 1990. Retailers that want a piece of the action are gearing their assortments and marketing message directly to these customers.
LOS ANGELES-RIVERSIDE-ORANGE COUNTY, CALIF. CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 6,598,488; percentage of population: 40.3 percent
Wal-Mart, one of the premier micromarketers, is devoting more space to Hispanic foods on the shelves of its stores in Los Angeles, and targeting customers with apparel and accessories brands that appeal to their taste for bright color. The company has 10 Wal-Mart stores and seven Sam’s Clubs in Los Angeles County. The retailer also reaches out to Latino shoppers with charitable contributions. Last year, it gave more than $9 million to the California League of Cities Latino Caucus and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
NEW YORK-NORTHERN NEW JERSEY-LONG ISLAND, N.Y. CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 3,852,138; percentage of population: 18.2 percent
Since filing for bankruptcy protection, Kmart has been aggressively targeting Hispanic and Latino customers. The retailer in September will launch Thalia, a collection of apparel, accessories, footwear and lingerie for women and girls designed and inspired by the Latin entertainer of the same name. According to Dave Karraker, director of brand and marketing communications, 39 percent of Kmart’s shoppers are multicultural. “We’re absolutely interested in seeking out other exclusive brand opportunities for ethnic customers,” he said.
SAN JUAN-CAUAS-ARECIBO, PUERTO RICO CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 2,416,024; percentage of population: 98.6 percent
Puerto Rico has proven to be a promising market for American and international retailers. Zara has found an audience for its trendy fashion at accessible price points. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart wants to expand on the island. The giant retailer, which operates stores and warehouse clubs in Puerto Rico, has been trying to acquire a local 35-unit supermarket chain, Supermercado Amigo’s. The government, however, says the deal violates the island’s antitrust laws.
MIAMI-FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 1,563,389; percentage of population: 40.3 percent
Kmart. the Troy, Mich.-based discounter, has launched Urban Direct, an urban-lifestyle glossy magazine aimed at strengthening its rapport with African-American shoppers. The launch follows the September debut of a Spanish-language publication, La Vida, and plans are to create a similar product for Asians.
CHICAGO-GARY, IND.-KENOSHA, WISC. CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 1,498,507; percentage of population: 16.4 percent
Sears has designated 180 units as Hispanic stores in its 860-store chain, and fills them with special merchandise and Spanish-language signs. One of those stores is a new downtown flagship on State Street in Chicago, a nod to the city’s fast-growing Latino population. Sears advertises on Spanish-speaking TV and radio.
SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND-SAN JOSE, CALIF. CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 1,383,661; percentage of population: 19.7 percent
San Francisco’s 1.3 million Hispanic residents have a collective market buying power of $16 billion. The area has a high per-capita buying power — $11,920 — and a mean household income of $49,324. The city’s Hispanic population has nearly doubled since 1980 due to continued immigration from Mexico and Central America. However, mass marketers such as Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart have been kept at bay in downtown San Francisco.
HOUSTON-GALVESTON-BRAZORIA, TEXAS CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 1,348,588; percentage of population: 28.9 percent
By 2020, Hispanics will dominate the population in Houston. The group exercises between $273 billion and $445 billion in purchasing power, according to Census 2000 statistics. It’s no surprise, then, that a showdown between two retailers has ensued. Kohl’s, which opened 12 stores in Houston in March, has been making a play for Mervyn’s family-oriented Latino customer base. During its Texas expansion, Kohl’s advertised in the Spanish-speaking media and Mervyn’s launched La Plaza, an in-store celebration of Mexican heritage.
DALLAS-FORT WORTH CMSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 1,120,350; percentage of population: 21.5 percent
J.C. Penney Co. has identified 23 markets, including Dallas, that it considers to be multiethnic. Stores in those markets are consistently among the fastest-growing, top-performing in the chain. To strengthen its bond with Hispanics, Penney’s introduced a Modelo Mundial, or World Model, contest and scholarship. The company features Spanish signage in stores.
PHOENIX-MESA, ARIZ. MSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 817,012; percentage of population: 25.1 percent
Family Dollar, a fast-growing chain with 4,600 stores in the U.S., is bullish on Phoenix, where it operates seven units. Hispanics make up about 23 percent of Arizona’s population and the chain, which emphasizes basic goods for the entire family, is popular with the demographic. Researchers say Hispanics prefer shopping with their families.
SAN ANTONIO MSA
Number of Hispanic or Latino residents: 816,037; percentage of population: 51.2 percent
The city’s large Hispanic community, drawn from Mexico and Central and South America, has a market buying power of $13 billion and a per-capita buying power of $11,052. In San Antonio, J.C. Penney’s micromerchandising efforts include bright-colored clothing for women and Mexican wedding shirts (long tunics) for men, and advertising circulars in Spanish.
SOURCES: CENSUS BUREAU; Mediamark Research Inc.