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Cooperation Will Grow Latino Market

4 Apr, 2005 By: Kurt Indvik

“Suppliers and retail need to begin orchestrating the future of Latino home video today … , ” said Monica Ricardez, national Latin product director for Tower Records and Video in an article in this week's issue of Cine Mercado, which is inserted into Home Media Retailing.

As retailers and suppliers meet at the DVD En Español conference this week in Hollywood, no doubt the dialogue will be about how they help each other grow this business. This is the second such conference, produced by Home Media Retailing, in cooperation with DEG: Digital Entertainment Group and The Hollywood Reporter.

Perhaps no other category in home entertainment requires as much attention and focus right now for those suppliers and retailers involved with it as Latino product. The category has grown out of its “foreign” category roots and now commands its own space. The reason for the increased attention is that the Latino market is so diverse, made up of so many demographic and cultural parts.

Not only are the roughly 40 million Latinos in the United States divided into the usual age/gender/economic demographic categories, but also into English- or Spanish-dominant households, and nationality. The latter two, especially, have a big impact on which titles rent/sell best, and where they rent/sell best. Retailers located in such Latino-rich areas as California, Texas, Florida and other major metropolitan areas, know that in their markets, they have strong populations of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, or Cubans, for example.

Suppliers and retailers are certainly aware of this, but it's still a huge challenge to effectively and profitably develop marketing and merchandising programs to build business in the Latino market.

It's going to take the sort of cooperative effort Ricardez mentions to reach the diverse Latino population. Retailers need suppliers to drive product awareness and (especially for retailers new to the category) to help them understand which product mix might work best for their customer base. Suppliers need retailers to know what their local Latino demographics are and then advertise both inside and outside of the store that they have Latino product.

There are other variables, of course, but success is only possible with this cooperative effort.

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