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Multicultural Retail 360 Tour to Visit Asian, Hispanic, Multi-Ethnic Retailers


The opportunity to watch multicultural retailing in action has always been one of the highlights of the Multicultural Retail 360 Summit’s (formerly Hispanic Retail 360 Summit) Cultural Immersion Tour. This year’s event will be no different, with trips planned to a variety of Hispanic and Asian retailers.

Scheduled for Aug. 12, the 2015 bus tour will visit Curacao, the leading Hispanic-focused electronics and home furnishings department store; Tawa 99 Ranch, a major Asian-American grocery retailer; Super King, which offers Latino, Middle Eastern and other products; and Superior Markets, a specialist in multi-ethnic foods. The tour is being led by seasoned sales executives from Unified Grocers, the largest retailer-owned wholesale grocery cooperative in the western United States.

While the Multicultural Retail 360 conference itself provides valuable data and insights from top executives, the Cultural Immersion Tour gives attendees the chance to experience ethnic neighborhoods, retailers and customers on a first-hand basis.

“The Cultural Immersion Tour enables attendees to experience retail best practices in action, beyond the typical conference setting,” said Vanessa Pinna, marketing consultant for Jewel-Osco/Albertsons in Southern California. “The tour also provides a great platform for learning firsthand about the nuances in product variety and demand in a different geographical market. Attendees will enjoy the opportunity to see great merchandising and eye-catching displays as well.”

Pinna, who has participated in past tours, added that the event provides “fun and casual” networking opportunities, too.

Armando Martín, CEO of Colorado-based multicultural ad agency XL Edge, also cited the in-person retail experience as the tour’s strongest benefit. “Interacting with the customer where they live…there’s just no substitute. Data and mountains of research can’t duplicate the sights, sounds and motion of some of the great epicenters of multicultural sensibility. The annual neighborhood bus tour is one of the most memorable activities connected with the Multicultural Retail 360 Summit.”

Martin, a long time bus tour participant, pointed to the ethnic significance of the Southern California retail market along with the cultural importance of other geographic areas that past tours have visited. “Neighborhoods in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Antonio, Miami and Las Vegas have opened the eyes of many marketers and merchandisers to see the vibrancy and commercial activity for themselves," he said. "Personally, I can never get enough of being in the communities we serve. So if you have not had the opportunity to visit the SoCal market up close, don’t miss being part of the tour and sign up today!”

Phil Lane, senior sales representative at Unified Grocers, noted that the participating grocery chains are among Unified’s strongest members in Southern California. “We look forward to sharing the different go-to-market strategies brought forth by these ethnic-focused retailers,” he added.

Here, Lane outlines the retailers' histories and strategies:

Superior Grocers, which opened its first location in 1981, was Southern California’s first warehouse format store. Superior’s business model involves selling groceries at lower prices than other retailers. The success of this format has enabled Superior to grow into a 44-store, high-volume chain. Superior’s primary focus is the Hispanic shopper.

Tawa 99 Ranch Markets: The Little Saigon area of Westminster, Calif., was the site of 99 Ranch’s first store back in 1984. 99 Ranch was the first Asian format in Southern California to operate as a full-service supermarket. Today, 99 Ranch still offers the largest selection of meat and produce in the 30-plus stores it operates in California, Nevada, Washington and Texas.

Super King Markets entered the region in 2003 with a location in Anaheim, Calif. Today, Super King operates six stores offering products from many different cultures. Stores range in size from 30,000 to 50,000 square feet. Super King’s stores are some of the highest-volume supermarket locations in Southern California.

Meanwhile, Curacao is noted as the leading home furnishings retailer in Southern California for Central American, South American and Mexican immigrants to the United States. The retailer was previously called La Curacao before a rebranding and repositioning campaign to expand its focus to serve a broader customer base.

In years past, the Cultural Immersion Tours have included visits to La Chiquita, Danny’s Market and AutoZone in Chicago, and Mariana’s, Best Buy and Supermercado La Bonita in Las Vegas. During a previous conference held in Southern California, retail participants included Food 4 Less and Ranch Markets in Los Angeles along with shops in heavily Latino Huntington Park and Olvera St. And last year in San Antonio, H-E-B’s Superstore, Goodwill Industries and shops in San Antonio’s Historic Market Square District were the focus of the tour.

Multicultural Retail 360 Summit is produced by Stagnito Business Information, parent of Progressive Grocer, Convenience Store News, Store Brands and Retail Leader.

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