Jeans: What’s “Hispanic” About Them? – Part II

Thursday, July 28, 2016

4 ideas to improve product fit to appeal to ethnic shoppers beyond language.


Recently, I wrote about Hispanic initiatives needing to go beyond the translation of marketing messages and how a retailer might adapt its merchandising for jeans to appeal to the cultural beauty values of Latina and African-American women. Today, I’d like to talk about product fit.


When apparel retailers ignore ethnic shoppers as a distinct market segment for product assortment purposes, they will see increased levels of clearance merchandise in certain areas, for example, in the L.A. market where Hispanics represent close to half of the population.


This happens because Asian and Hispanic adults are more likely to be petite, Latinas have mostly “pear-shape” bodies with smaller-than-average waist and bigger-than-average hip measurements, and African-American men are more likely to be “big & tall” while Black women skew toward plus sizes.


Here are 4 ideas for retailers to optimize their product offering for ethnic shoppers and decrease markdowns:

  1. Analyze sales per store in ethnic versus non-ethnic stores to determine which brands and sizes appeal most to ethnic shoppers. Click here to download the FREE e-book"5 Ways to Calculate Your Multicultural Opportunity” to see how to do it (pages 5 and 6).

  2. Provide 3-4 fit options to all shoppers, like Old Navy, Anne Taylor and Banana Republic.

  3. Leverage the fit expertise of apparel vendors that are popular among ethnic shoppers, such as Apple Bottoms, and include their assortment in your store.

  4. Partner with a 3D Body Scan Measurement provider to determine the fit deviations between ethnic and mainstream shoppers and your fit model – with technology such as Me-Ality (used in the past by Levi’s, Lane Bryant and Fashion Bug Stores). 

Key Takeaway

Remember to optimize all aspects of your customer experience journey, including messaging, in-store presentation and product fit to better serve Latino shoppers. You will see increased sales and reduced markdowns in highly Hispanic areas as a result.

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