Hispanic Spending Power Hit $1.7 Trillion — Here’s How Shoe Brands Like Skechers and Payless Are Leveraging It

As American spending and consumer outlook improve, Hispanic customers have played a key role in driving what some are calling a retail rebound — and both retailers and brands are taking note.

From 1990 to 2017, Hispanic spending power in the U.S. rose from $210 million to $1.7 trillion, according to a University of Georgia report.

As overall consumer sentiment has soared in recent months, Hispanic spending has outpaced overall spending, according to a July 2018 report from The NPD Group.

 “As Hispanic shoppers continue to feel more confident with the immigration policy and their improved job market, they resume their pre-election slowdown position of outpacing overall U.S. consumer spending,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group, said.

Trending younger than the U.S. population as a whole — the average age of a Hispanic American is 27, compared with 43 for Caucasian Americans — Hispanics make more frequent use of technology when shopping than the average American consumer, a Nielsen report shows.

With a strong foothold on technology, Hispanic customers are using devices and apps to connect with brands.

As brands like Adidas and Nike race to add omnichannel and AR experiences, they put themselves in a better position to woo Hispanics.

With the power of social media, Hispanic ambassadors and influencers can also help drive sales for brands.

For instance, Skechers has tapped into the power of Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello — a hitmaker with a strong social media following. This has enabled the brand to reach a segment of style-focused, millennial women.

“The excitement over Skechers D’Lites has allowed us to broaden our distribution and marketing to reach savvy millennial consumers. With chart-topping Camila Cabello in Skechers D’lites, we have a global ambassador who resonates with this audience,” said CEO Robert Greenberg.

Traditional brick-and-mortar shoe stores — such as Payless and Shoe Carnival — are also taking note of Hispanics’ spending power through store expansion and marketing initiatives.

Shoe Carnival has skirted the so-called retail apocalypse while driving strong growth both in the continental U.S. and in Puerto Rico — and the retailer is discussing the possibility of growth in Mexico and Central America.

While Payless hasn’t fared quite as well as Shoe Carnival — the brand emerged from Chapter 11 in August 2017 — its plans for rebuilding have rested in part on marketing to Hispanic consumers in the U.S. 

Hispanics are expected to account for 50 percent of population growth in the U.S. from 2016 to 2020 — meaning their power in the marketplace is only on the rise.

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