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LOS ANGELES -- How many more reports, research studies and insights packages do we need to validate that Latinos are the most dynamic, vibrant and fastest-growing group of shoppers in America?
Maybe a walk down Olvera Street or Providence and Pacific Avenue in Los Angeles' Huntington Park is the missing link to turn black and white data into a living reality. After all, the city of L.A. is the epicenter of Hispanic sensibility as a majority minority market with Latinos making up 48 percent of the population, followed by Asians at 14 percent. L.A. is already a portrait of the America of 2050 -- just as New York, Houston, Miami and Chicago are, too.
This year's Hispanic Retail 360 Summit, the premier cross-channel event focused on retailing to the growing Latino market, gave attendees a unique hands-on learning opportunity by putting them inside the shoes of the shoppers in a four-hour cultural immersion tour. Sponsored by Goya Foods and guided by marketing experts and managing partners of XL Alliance Armando Martin, Manny Fields and Lili Gil, the tour guided hundreds of professionals through the aisles of Food4Less, Ralph's and Ranch Market where insights came to life with various store footprints, assortment options and the witnessing of shoppers in action.
Also, a trip to Olvera Street offered a unique experience that transported attendees to a typical Mexican plaza setting, and a stroll down Pacific Avenue showcased dozens of Quinceañera stores, money transfers and authentic restaurants that keep hundreds of shoppers browsing, buying and returning.
The tour made evident that nothing beats learning the market than being in the market.