Kmart Starts Spanish Version of Circular

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Discount retailer Kmart Corp. began publishing its weekly advertising circular in Spanish late last month.


The full-color circular was available Aug. 29 in 160 Kmart stores in areas with large Hispanic populations and in 10 Spanish-language newspapers nationwide. It was developed by Meridian Inc., Troy, MI, an advertising and marketing services firm.


The circular will reach 700,000 Hispanic-Americans, Kmart estimated. The Troy-based retailer, which filed for bankruptcy in January, said the circular's debut coincides with September's Hispanic Heritage Month.


"According to our research, the buying power of Hispanics in America has increased more than 110 percent over the past 10 years," said Barbara J. Firment, Kmart senior vice president advertising, sales and in-store presentation. "With our exceptional reach into urban markets, we feel we have a distinct advantage over other discount retailers when it comes to connecting with Hispanic customers."


More than 55 percent of Hispanics living in the United States are within 15 minutes of a Kmart store, the company said, compared with 17 percent of the Hispanic population within 15 minutes of a Wal-Mart and 13 percent within 15 minutes of a Target.


"Kmart has been reaching out to this important market for many years," said Dan Surdell, chief executive officer of Meridian. "Publishing its weekly advertising circular in Spanish is a natural progression for Kmart's Hispanic marketing efforts. Our market readership studies document that Hispanic customers are particularly attentive to Kmart circulars and rely on them during their weekly shopping. The reaction from Hispanic publishers and community leaders has been outstanding."


The first Kmart Spanish-language ad circular highlights the five-year anniversary of Kmart's exclusive Sesame Street clothing label.


As the $500 billion Hispanic marketplace continues to grow in the United States, Kmart is expanding efforts to reach this influential consumer group. The company's current "Stuff of Life" television ad campaign has been reconceived into Spanish as "Las Cosas para La Vida."


The spots feature family imagery meant to resonate with Hispanic audiences and include background vocals by Grammy Award-winning artist Jose Feliciano. Kmart also markets to Hispanic consumers through "community merchandising," stocking products that are best suited for the area residents it serves.


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