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Beauty Roundup: March 18, 2011

Wal-Mart is one of the retailers on the cutting edge of knowing the power of merchandising to the local clientele.

The Power Of Hispanic Shoppers, Especially Men


When Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s vice president and divisional merchandise manager of beauty and personal care, Carmen Bauza, spoke to the CEW group recently, she singled out how important knowing the demographics of a community is in determining the store mix. “We vary the assortment, which reflects our understanding of the customer in each community,” said Bauza. “We bring in local brands and are learning to communicate with our local customers. This extends to bilingual signage, and that level of detail in each community. Our stores in Mexico do extremely well, and there’s a high population of Mexicans in California and Texas. We are currently distributing products popular in Mexico in some of our U.S. stories.” She cited a hair styling gel, called Moco de Gorila, as an example of local brands from Mexico that Wal-Mart has brought to the U.S.

 

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Wal-Mart is one of the retailers on the cutting edge of knowing the power of merchandising to the local clientele. Getting products Hispanic shoppers desire is a true key to success, especially with research showing how important this customer base is to the bottom line. Just-released data from Univision shows that Latinos’ personal care rituals go beyond the basics. The findings of the study — “Why Latinos Look So Good” — were revealed as part of a panel discussion in New York with Univision’s Giselle Blondet (“Nuestra Belleza Latina”); actor Cristián de la Fuente (“Private Practice”); Ruth Gaviria, Univision’s senior vice president of corporate marketing; David Salazar, multicultural manager for Target’s guest insights; the celebrity stylist Samy, and Daniel Villarroel, associate vice president for experiential and diversity marketing, Maybelline NY/Garnier. The Univision study revealed three key grooming essentials for Latinos — they celebrate “vanidad” over “machismo,” personal care rituals go beyond the basics, and they say “speak my language, speak my culture.”

 

Researchers think the statistics should encourage both retailers and marketers to do more to appeal this customer base. “The findings of Univision’s study prove that as marketers we have to shed the misperception of Hispanic men as ‘machos’ and start to look at them as ‘vanidosos’ who take extra care of their appearance,” said Gaviria. “Latinos derive a significant amount of self-esteem from smelling, looking and feeling their best and now routinely engage in more refined personal care, such as nail care, lotions and neat trimming, with more frequency than non-Hispanics. This makes Latinos part of an extremely strong and vibrant growth opportunity for male personal care brands.”

 

Offering the right brands to appeal to Latinos strong sense of style is key, but so are moves such as using bilingual signage. Respondents expressed a deeper, cultural connection with ads in Spanish and described them as more relevant and relatable. Some comments included: “Commercials get in your head little by little. When I see a commercial in English, it sinks in a little, but then when I see a commercial in Spanish it gets me!” For Latinos, ads also need to be more educational (35 percent) than for non-Hispanics (17 percent). Hispanic men enjoy trying new products they see on TV (29 percent) more than non-Hispanics (15 percent). Spanish-language TV and radio ads ranked directly behind in-store demos (the number-one factor) as leading factors driving brand purchases.

 

As chains get bigger and bigger, the goal is to fight the urge to open cookie-cutter stores and, instead, customize the mix for each market. Chains such as Wal-Mart and Walgreens are often singled out as doing a good job at this. In the future, research such as this will undoubtedly follow that route as well.

People, Places and Things

A few words with Todd Hale, senior vice president, consumer and shopper insights for the Nielsen Co. about how this latest round of rising of gas prices could derail the shopping turnaround.

WWDBeautyNews: Why are rising prices going to hurt so much?

 

Hale: Consider this, in 2010, there were 2.1 cars per household in the U.S. Assuming that each car is driven 1,000 miles per month and achieves 20 miles per gallon of gas, a price increase of 10 cents per gallon translates to an increase of $10.50 per month in household expenditures. As prices increase, households could be paying an extra $52.50 with a 50 cent increase, $105 with a $1.00 rise and $210 if prices jump by $2.00. In Canada, similar assumptions can be made. A 10 cent increase per liter translates to a $30 additional monthly outlay; $65 with a 25 cent rise and $124 with a 50 cent increase. The impact to consumers is real and wallets will continue to be squeezed. Household wages are not keeping pace with inflation, so in the end, consumers will need to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for ‘everyday’ things. The coping mechanisms consumers applied during the recession will be their back-up plan as we head into the summer. Trip capture will once again be paramount and there are opportunities for retailers and manufacturers to convert a likely decline in out-of-home eating and entertainment into spending for at-home options. We would urge manufacturers and retailers alike to actively engage their consumers and shoppers on this front and not simply sit on the sidelines. Value messaging will be important, but also think about the emotional connection with messaging that reflects the fun and enjoyment to be had with family members and friends.

What’s In Store

 

Bartell Offers Health And Beauty Event: Bartell Drugs will celebrate health and beauty with a series of events merging health and beauty, such as free health clinics and mini makeovers. Sampling of cosmetics will be featured, as well as hairstyling tips.

Is Youth In the Genes?
While the massive antiaging industry provides a ray of hope for some consumers, it seems that many are realistic. Recent Mintel research found that 69 percent of consumers believe how you age is mostly genetic, and external products are more hope than help. Additionally, eight in 10 consumers think diet and exercise are the most important factors associated with aging skin and 78 percent say using sunscreen is the real key to preventing visible signs of aging.

 

While many consumers say aging is controlled by diet, exercise and genetics, 69 percent also report that the earlier you start using age prevention remedies the better off you are.

 

“There’s a sizable gap between opinion and practice,” said Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst. “While there are no guarantees when it comes to antiaging skin care purchases, many women buy the products anyway with the hope of achieving visible results. They adopt the ‘It’s better to try something than do nothing’ approach.”