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Products Marketed to Latinos Can Be More Expensive

Mundo Hispánico, News Report, Leslie Froelich, Translated by Elena Shore Posted: Dec 17, 2008

Traducción al español

ATLANTA -- Before you buy, look closely at the price and quality of the product. Speaking in Spanish could make it more expensive.

Mexican Marta Astudillo went to several stores to do her Christmas shopping this year. She stopped by Lenox Mall, Wal-Mart, and ended up at Plaza Fiesta.

Like many Hispanics, she thought that she would get the best prices in the mall that marketed to Latinos.

“We thought things would be cheaper here, but they’re not,” she said in frustration.

After a tour of the shops in the shopping center located off of Buford Highway, we found that this to be true for some products.

For example, a 14-carat gold chain with a cross pendant cost $65 at the store Georgia Gold in Plaza Fiesta, while a similar, 14-carat chain at TJ Maxx cost $40.

The videogame Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Greatest Hits cost $24.99 at Plaza Fiesta’s Videojuegos (Videogames) store, but customers could save $10 if they buy it at Best Buy, where it was only $14.99.

A Question of Quality

Colombian Felipe Castro-Milian, who went shopping at Northeast Plaza, says Latino stores may be cheaper but the quality of products suffers.

“I think it’s cheaper to buy at Latino stores, but now I’ve seen other places selling things for the same price but they are better quality. I’d rather buy from other stores,” said Castro-Milian.

At the store Calzamoda Shoes in Plaza Fiesta, a pair of shoes from an unknown brand costs $30. At the sporting goods chain store Sports Authority, similar shoes made by Puma cost the same price.
The same is true for strollers. At the P&T Shop, generic strollers with dirty wheels cost $64, while at Toys "R" Us, strollers made by the brand Evenflo only cost 98 cents more.

Language, a Key Factor

Like many Hispanics, Astudillo tends to shop at Latino stores where she can communicate in her own language.

According to a poll by Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, the second most common reason Hispanics don't complain to a store when they had a grievance is because they can't communicate with them in Spanish. These customers prefer to go to places where they are understood.

“If you look carefully (at big stores), you’ll find things on sale and within those bargains there are more sales, and that’s where you can get a good deal,” said Astudillo.

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