Commentary

Hispanics Drive Retail Clothing Sales During The Holidays

We continue to see online shopping increase its share of overall shopping dollars year-over-year against traditional brick and mortar. Retailers have been adapting to this shift through a variety of strategic initiatives, mainly driven by the continual integration of a seamless online/offline purchase continuum. However, as we look more specifically at what categories of purchase items are shifting to online, we see that not all categories are shifting online.

On the contrary, we are still seeing strong growth at Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores (+4.1%), Building Material, Garden Equipment, & Supplies Dealers (+5.2%), Food & Beverage Stores (+2.8%), Health & Personal Care Stores (+6.6%), and Clothing and Accessories Stores (+1.1%), all of which fared well in late 2016. 

Clothing and accessories is a particularly important category for retail giants such as Target and Macy’s. While growth is minimal compared to other categories, Hispanics may hold the key to further increasing growth among this critical category for brick and mortar retailers. 

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According to our most recent Holiday retail study, among the Total Market, Hispanics are the most likely demographic to give clothing as a gift during the holiday season for the second year in a row:

This is statistically significantly as compared to their non-Hispanic white and Asian counterparts. 

So why are Hispanics more likely to give clothing as a gift vs. their Total Market counterparts? Culture. Clothing is a critical aspect to Hispanic culture, specifically among Latinas. According to Dr. Maria-Gracia Inglessis, “(W)hen it comes to clothing and appearance, Hispanic women --regardless of the level of acculturation retain over time a set of values and beliefs characteristic of the Hispanic culture. These values and beliefs are learned early on from their mothers and maintained through constant interaction with the Hispanic culture through friends and family.” 

Clothing plays a critical role in defining Hispanic culture in the U.S. and this cultural link manifested itself in our last two Holiday retail studies through a significantly higher likelihood in Hispanics gifting clothing than all other Total Market segments. Hispanics may hold the key to helping brick and mortar retailers that rely on clothing sales buck the trend towards online shopping. 

Here are some marketing strategies based on our most recent report that will help marketers capture the Hispanic shopper looking for clothing this Holiday season:

Family First While this marketing trope has been used since the inception of Hispanic marketing as a concept, it is tried and true. 57% of Hispanics have children under 18 years of age on their holiday list this year, this is significantly more than African-Americans at 49% and Asians at 51%. Adjusting your marketing messaging with this in mind can help position you for success. 

Find Online, Buy In-store As technology for purchasing clothing online continues to improve through products such as the Amazon Echo Show, brick and mortar still has time to position themselves as the go-to for in-person clothing sales. However, Hispanics still are finding their holiday gifts online before purchasing in-person. 30% of Hispanics search online prior to making their Holiday gift purchases. Ensuring your clothing selection is available to browse online is critical to in-store purchase success among Hispanics.

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