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In the United States, the cohort of Hispanic consumers has emerged as one of the most prominent, growing, and appealing targets for marketers, and perhaps especially for retail brands that span the nation. Three familiar brands—Target, JCPenney, and Macy’s—are taking some similar approaches to appeal to Hispanic shoppers, as well as adding some unique elements to set their image apart.

Hispanic mother and daughter watching movieFor example, all three chains have expanded the amount of in-store signage that appears in both English and Spanish. They also have translated some of their advertising campaigns into Spanish, and all three retailers seek to connect with Hispanic shoppers through social media.

Some of the differences are instructive too. Rather than simply translating existing English-language advertising into Spanish, Target has developed specific ads to appeal to Hispanic consumers. The advertising campaign, entitled “Sin Traducción” (“Without Translation”) highlights terms without direct translations into English and references that only Hispanic consumers are likely to understand. This campaign, combined with other communications devoted to Hispanic shoppers, account for $51.5 million of Target’s advertising budget, which is equivalent to approximately 3 percent of its total spending.

At JCPenney, the director of multicultural marketing asserted that Latina women are the primary targets of its assortment and merchandising mix. To support these offers, JCPenney launched an advertising blitz tied to the World Cup, which prompted notable improvements in consumers’ perceptions of the brand.

For Macy’s, a dedicated line, with the imprint of the singer Thalia Sodi, is the largest exclusive collection that it carries. Both the merchandising and the related marketing were designed expressly with the goal of appealing to Hispanic women. Macy’s spends approximately $36.6 million on advertising in Hispanic-oriented media, including live-streamed fashion shows and other social media tactics.

The reasons for these moves are unsurprising: As the Hispanic population in the United States continues to grow, so does the buying power of this vast and diverse demographic group. According to some estimates, it has reached $1.5 trillion—making investments of a few million dollars to appeal to these shoppers seem quite reasonable.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why are retailers targeting the Hispanic market?
  2. What are retailers doing to appeal to this market?


Source: Ashley Rodriguez, Advertising Age, April 6, 2015