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Capitalize on the Burgeoning Latino Market

7 Mar, 2004 By: Kurt Indvik

It's been an eye-opening experience developing Cine Mercado, the new quarterly supplement to Video Store Magazine that focuses on the opportunities and challenges in building the home entertainment business serving Latino consumers. The second edition appears in this week's issue of VSM. Also this week in Los Angeles, VSM in cooperation with The Digital Entertainment Group and The Hollywood Reporter, host a conference on Latino home entertainment.

The growth of the Latino market compels retailers of home entertainment to make a serious effort to ensure that they have a strategy for bringing in product that serves their local Latino community and doing the right sort of marketing to let them know it's available.

There are more than 42 million Latinos living in the United States, which makes this the country with the second-largest population of Latinos behind Mexico. The Latino community in the United States is, indeed, a country within a country, and if you are a retailer who happens to do business in one of just seven states that hold half of that Latino population (Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas), then it's even more imperative that you're attuned to your local Latino community, because they are heavy consumers of entertainment, and they are on a par with the rest of the market in terms of DVD player penetration in the home.

There is a growing supply of high-quality film and television product on home video from Mexico, Spain and many other Latin American countries featuring tremendous talent, star power and audience support that non-Latinos are barely aware of. And considering that 50 percent of the growth of the Latino market comes from immigrants, it's vital that a retailer looks beyond merely stocking domestic hits with Spanish subtitles. If your store is in a neighborhood with a significant Latino population, try and determine if there is a predominant nationality in the local Latino community (70 percent of all Latinos in the United States are Mexican, by the way) and seek out product from that predominant country of origin.

The opportunities with the Latino home entertainment market are significant for those who make a concerted effort to reach out to their local Latino community with the right product mix and the right service. Check out this and future editions of Cine Mercado for some ideas on how to do just that.



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