ISSUE NO. 68 07/25/12

Convenience-store shopping is more common among Hispanics, according to The NPD Group's report, "The Hispanic Convenience Store Shopper." Hispanics overall made almost two more visits a month than non-Hispanics to major oil chain convenience stores, and nearly one more visit over a 30-day period to traditional c-stores than non-Hispanics. Level of acculturation, as measured by language acquisition (English-dominant, Bilingual, or Spanish-dominant) appears to have an impact on the frequency of visits. While Non-Hispanics average 5.7 visits a month, bilingual Hispanics shop the convenience channel an average of 9.2 times a month. The average for all Hispanics is 7.3 times a month and Spanish-only Hispanics is 6.7 times a month.

The NPD study also found that Hispanics tend to spend more at convenience stores, with lower levels of acculturation associated with higher spending. While 3 in 4 Hispanics shop the c-store because it is convenient, 1 in 10 shop this channel for access to a Spanish-speaking employee.

"Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population, and an important segment for the c-store channel," says David Portalatin, NPD's c-store industry analyst. "As this report reveals, Hispanics share a common language but they are not homogenous. The key to attracting Hispanics is to understand their shopping behaviors, product purchase, brand preference, and reasons for selecting retailers as a population segment and by level of acculturation."

Not only do Hispanic shoppers demonstrate different values and shopping behaviors, they actually show a preference for different types of stores. So, if you're looking to connect with Hispanic shoppers (e.g., a new product launch or a reengagement with your brand), consider using the convenience channel to get their attention even if you don't typically concentrate your efforts there. Also, this study suggests that there is something about the convenience store format that appeals to Hispanic shoppers; perhaps it feels more familiar to people who are used to shopping in bodegas or mom-and-pop stores. So, you might also look at what Hispanic shoppers like about convenience stores (Spanish-speaking employees, a less overwhelming, more personal store experience) and try to replicate in other touchpoints.

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"Spanish Language Usage Equates to Higher Convenience Store Shopping Frequency, Reports NPD," NPD Press Release, 6/25/12

C-stores, Hispanic shoppers

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