Purchasing power of Hispanic women on display in fashion industry

Purchasing power of Hispanic women on display in fashion industry

Aug. 02–Some industries are missing out on a critical growth opportunity by overlooking the purchasing power of Hispanic women.

Guests gathered downtown at the JW Marriott Marquis Thursday morning to watch a presentation of “Latina Power Shift,” a new report by the Nielsen Company.

Hispanic income is on the rise, the report says. Twenty-one percent of households earn $75,000 or more yearly, which corresponds with a drop in incomes below $25,000.

“The Hispanic population spends $1.2 trillion annually. In a survey that we conducted, 86 percent of respondents said that Latinas control household spending. So Latinas dominate the lion share of that $1.2 trillion,” said Monica Gil, Nielsen’s senior vice president of public affairs and government relations.

Nestled in those trillions, Hispanic women are spending money on fashion footwear faster than their population is growing, said Marshal Cohen, industry analyst with the NPD Group, Inc. “That’s an early indicator that footwear is moving forward, and the industry isn’t looking at that well enough,” he said.

Retailers and manufacturers must focus on Hispanic markets to understand what is driving the growth, Cohen said.

Miamian Natalie Pizarro, 30, owns at least 70 pairs of shoes, the majority of which are heels and wedges. She buys about 30 new pairs yearly and spends $40 to $150 on each pair.

Pizarro dictates most of the spending in her home, even her husband’s clothing, she said. But while perusing the racks of Nordstrom and Macy’s, Pizarro might not realize that she’s part of a powerful demographic that could impact the future growth of apparel retailers.

Hispanic women account for close to one out of five dollars spent on women’s fashion footwear, according to the NPD Group. Representing nearly a fifth of the total women’s fashion footwear market, Hispanic women shelled out an estimated $3.3 billion on pumps, flats, boots and sandals from June 2012 to May 2013, the New York-based consumer research firm says. In Miami, high heels accounted for 38 percent of dollar sales.

Marketers in all industries could do a better job reaching Hispanic women Latinas by focusing on their similarities, Gil said. The Nielsen report found that 87 percent of Hispanic women consider themselves equally Latin and American. Companies should appeal to that duality, she said.

“Marketers should understand that Latinas are now bread winners and that, when making purchasing decisions in mainstream America, they maintain cultural roots and are deciding when to be Latina and when to be American.”