Christian Retailing

ICRS: ‘The Big Opportunity’ focuses on attracting Hispanic community Print Email
Written by Ginny McCabe   
Thursday, 26 June 2014 12:48 PM America/New_York

ICRS-Hispanic-webRetailers had an opportunity to learn how to expand their customer base, increase traffic and sales during the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) on Tuesday with the workshop “Attracting Hispanics to Your Store,” led by Fred Ichniowski, senior sales director, and Roberto Cortez, associate, both with My Healthy Church.

Cortez greeted the attendees in Spanish to help stress the importance of knowing your customer base, being able to communicate with them and the value of forging relationships with the Hispanic community.

Cortez encouraged Christian retailers to make their Spanish-language product accessible and easy to find.

“If you have Hispanic product, flaunt it,” Cortez said. “You have the products they need.”

The presenters also addressed communication, marketing investments, advertising and the resources that are helpful in reaching Hispanic customers, such as Hispanic (Spanish) cable television.

“As a retailer, every customer that walks into the store is an opportunity to make a sale, and the more sales you generate, the better off you’ll be as a retailer,” Cortez said.

“I’ve been involved in the CBA industry for over 20 years, and this has been the biggest opportunity that has been untapped in the industry,” Ichniowski said. “Over the past five years, it has expanded dramatically, and it will continue to expand.”

This is “The Big Opportunity” to reach a demographic that’s not being reached right now, Ichniowski said.

Participants asked thoughtful questions from a retail and ministry standpoint such as, “What is the future?” and “How are we able to tap into [the Spanish market]?”

“I think the industry as a whole needs to open their eyes and wake up to the opportunity that the fastest-growing segment of our society is in the Hispanic community, and that those folks are looking to be served, and inside that community, building relationships is the most important thing,” Ichniowski noted.

When it comes to further reaching out to potential customers, attendees explored the questions, “Who are they?” and “What are they tapping into?”

“If Hispanics see they matter to you, they will shop your store,” Cortez said.

The presenters also shared beneficial data, including a 2012 Nielson report that said: “Any company that wants to develop and grow in the United States has to attract the Hispanic consumer. It’s a must.”

It’s time for CBA retailers to understand those relationships are there to be had, and it’s time to start building them,” Ichniowski stressed.

Several dozen retailers attended the Tuesday mid-day session.

“The response was excellent. Those that were at the session were there for a reason. They have either already dabbled in Hispanic product, in carrying Hispanic product and reaching the Hispanic community in their stores, or they were very anxious to learn about how to do that. They’re getting out in front of the curve, understanding this is ‘The Big Opportunity,’ ” Ichniowski said.