According to a new study by the University of California, the growth of Latinos is driving community market trends in the United States as immigrants continue to assimilate at a rate that assures their success in this country. Demographers Dowell Myers and John Pitkin who authored, “Assimilation Tomorrow: How America’s Immigrants Will Integrate by 2030,” say the number of English speaking immigrants will rise more than 10% in the next 20 years. Correspondingly, the percentage of immigrants who own rather than rent their homes is expected to rise to 72% by 2030, up from 25.5% in 2000. Given the latest Census Bureau data that the number of Hispanic owner-occupiers grew from 6.21 million in the second quarter of the housing recovery to 6.49 million in the third quarter, it’s no wonder this powerful buying group is changing the market landscape in America.
At a conference hosted last week by the International Council of Shopping Centers, Jeff Monge, president of Monge Capital Group, a private equity firm, illustrated how this trend is playing out in the New York Tri-state area. Says Real Estate Weekly:
Mexicans in the tri-state area once stocked up on their favorite brands when visiting relatives.
Now they prefer to make all their purchases around the corner, at mom-and-pop stores like Mexico Lindo and in the Goya aisle of major supermarkets.
One example cited by Monge is east coast grocery chain Pathmark who opened a New York City location in the mid 1990’s at the heavily Hispanic intersection of 125th Street & Lexington in East Harlem.
Pathmark figured out early on that urban stores are hugely successful. They changed up the products and hired more Hispanic employees, who look like the demographic in the store.
But there’s also room for locally owned businesses, too.
They’re in demand among Hispanic shoppers in their teens and 20s, who are no longer so enamored with national brands like American Eagle and the Gap.
“There’s been a fundamental shift in what products are interesting,” said Monge, of the private equity firm. “Generic Middle American products might not be as interesting.”
Given that Latinos are expected to drive the housing market for the foreseeable future, anyone looking to advertise their brand would do well to study the local immigrant population and give their marketing message the right tone.