2013_apr_img1Retailers of all shapes and sizes are reaching out to attract and retain Hispanic shoppers with a variety of merchandising strategies that range from the right product mix to the right cultural feel in their stores.  The key is to have the right options available from corporate buyers and category managers and for the local regional and store managers to understand their customer demographics and customize a merchandising strategy to fit their shoppers.

Buyers and category managers provide the right options for their stores that include well known and trusted brands and a variety of choices in the size of the set and the product mix to meet the demographics at the store level.  Trusted brands must be more than existing products with Spanish labels.  They need to provide a well-researched mix of products with established brands from their country of origin and packaging using colors, images, and language that evoke a feeling of home and heritage.   Stores should also consider the local population and offer the right selection of products so stores can provide sets that appeal to the shoppers specific heritage which might include brands from their country of origin (Mexico, Puerto Rico, South America, etc.) or more subtle approaches like products with attractive fragrances (lavender for Caribbean sets and chamomile for Mexican sets).

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It’s also important to have the right selection of products.  If you are mass market then you need to understand what local groceries are offering.   Can your shoppers find their hair products in your stores but have to go to another store for OTC or baby care?   Are the products integrated into their categories or does the store offer a section catering to the Hispanic shopper?  In many cases a Hispanic section is needed to alert the shopper that they can find their brands in your store.  In stores with heavy Hispanic demographics it’s a good strategy to combine integration and full Hispanic sets.   Additionally, having features like end caps to attract the shopper to the Hispanic isle or power-chutes and counter displays to get their interest and announce your Hispanic strategy.  Set location is another key to consider.  Are shoppers greeted with the products that make them feel catered too or do they have to search the store to find them in an obscure corner?

That’s a lot to consider and something that might get lost in the hectic life of a category manager or store manager.  Companies that specialize in Hispanic strategies, like Midway Importing, can help.  They can offer a complete strategy including product research and selection, product mix to fit the store demographics, advertising support, distribution, and local merchandising.

“We research products in their country of origin and only bring in proven brands with the right support strategy”, says Chris Hartmann, Midway Importing CEO.  “Our strategy combines selecting hot products like Moco de Gorila that appeals to younger Hispanics to proven brands like Picot for indigestion and then placing them in areas that will attract shoppers.

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Hernan Devarganes adds, “We won’t bring in brands unless they support their products with the right advertising and promotions.   Midway actually is one of the largest advertiser of Hispanic Health and Beauty Care products on Spanish language television and we coordinate these efforts based on seasonality.  We then add demonstration programs, POP, and specific merchandising strategies to attract shoppers with the right features and promotions.  One strategy supports the other and creates a multiplier effect to increase sales.”