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    Grocers Most Aggressive of All in Targeting Hispanics: Survey

    NEW YORK--Supermarket operators are leading the pack when it comes to more aggressively merchandising to Hispanic consumers in the store, according to findings from the latest VNU Retail Index survey.

    NEW YORK--Supermarket operators are leading the pack when it comes to more aggressively merchandising to Hispanic consumers in the store, according to findings from the latest VNU Retail Index survey.

    Five out of 10 retailers from the major food-related channels (grocery, convenience store, drug, mass, and specialty) surveyed last month said they are expanding their product offerings to maximize sales to the growing Hispanic market. However, the exclusive research, conducted by the Retail Group of VNU Business Media, indicated supermarket operators are the most aggressive at present. More than half (58 percent) of those grocers surveyed reported that they are changing planograms to add more Hispanic items, introducing new products designed for the ethnic group; and are changing their training and hiring practices specifically to reach out to the Hispanic populations in their operating areas.

    Approximately 48 percent of convenience retailers and 41 percent of mass/drug/specialty store retailers also said they are expanding their Hispanic product offerings.

    The retailers were surveyed in February as part of VNU's ongoing research project, which gauges retail sentiment and trends on a monthly basis by surveying more than 500 companies from the grocery, convenience, drug, mass and specialty store channels. In addition to questions appraising current business conditions and expectations for future business performance, in February retailers were also asked about their Hispanic merchandising and marketing efforts.

    Grocers reported that their efforts go beyond products and shelf sets. Many are also hiring more Spanish-speaking associates, and requiring their executives to learn Spanish.

    About 20 percent of grocery respondents admitted that they were inactive on the Hispanic front.

    Many more findings from the VNU Retail Index's look at Hispanic merchandising trends will appear in Progressive Grocer April 15 issue.

    The VNU Retail Index is a service provided by VNU Business Publications, inconcert with ACNielsen. If you are a retailer interested in joining the VNU Retail Index panel, please contact Debra Chanil, director of market research, at [email protected].

    In related Hispanic market news, VNU Business Media is collaborating with VNU Expo to launch the inaugural Hispanic Retail 360 Conference & Expo this fall. The only cross-channel event to combine the power of VNU's world-leading information companies and its industry-leading publications, Hispanic Retail 360 will be held Sept. 26 to 27, 2005, in Dallas, TX. For further information, please contact Don Longo, director, editorial and content development, Retail Group, at [email protected].

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