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Craft Marketing 2005


E-tailers Prep for "Cyber Monday"

11/22/05 - Online retailers are prepping for a rush of shoppers to hit their sites next Monday, a full three days after brick-and- mortar retailers' traditional holiday shopping kickoff on Black Friday. Online retailers will host promotions and price cuts on Nov. 28, the Monday after Thanksgiving, which industry pundits have dubbed "Cyber Monday".

Last year, 77% of online retailers saw sales zoom on Cyber Monday, according to an industry survey. About one third of U.S. shoppers - 51.7 million - will browse or buy online this season, per a separate survey of consumers, conducted for the National Retail Federation.

Most younger adults (51% of those 18-24, and 49% of those 25-34) will shop online during work hours, with men (42%) more likely than women (32%) to shop from the office. Shoppers may be taking advantage of faster Internet connections at work or are wrapping up holiday shopping they began over the weekend.

43% of online retailers say they'll meet the traffic boost with special pricing, free shipping and gifts with purchase. 36% will host promotions on Thanksgiving Day to pre-empt the brick-and-mortar rush on Friday. More than half (57%) of online retailers expect holiday sales to jump 30% over last year, and about 20% anticipate sales to zoom 75% or more.

Last year, sales were up the most for sites selling jewelry and luxury goods (above average boosts for 89% of sites), consumer electronics (86%), gourmet goods (83%) and furniture or home decor (80%).

Season Treason

11/10/05 - The retail strategy of the early Christmas selling season has become so prevalent there is now a disparaging name for it: season treason. The reason retailers have moved up the Christmas selling season until its no longer a surprise to hear Christmas carols before the leaves all change color: It works.

Retailers and analysts say there are sound strategic reasons for pushing Christmas early, some practical, some psychological. For one, it may be an opportunity to sell more things at full price before the inevitable Thanksgiving sales. Also, if you entice people to shop early, they may continue buying late in the season and end up purchasing more overall. And once a few stores started the practice, everyone joined in. "What's happened over the years is that everyone has gotten so promotional and the industry has gotten so competitive," said Daniel Skoda, a former president of Marshall Field's who now heads D&R Consulting, Chicago. "Everybody has the same strategy, and that's to get the customer's money before anybody else does. December has turned out to not be as much of a business as it used to be." "They think there's safety in numbers," agreed Cynthia Cohen, founder of Strategic Mindshare, a Miami-based retail consultancy. "Everybody is doing it, with the exception of Nordstrom. You [as a consumer] don't like it, where are you going to go?"

There are other explanations. By decorating their stores and displaying their holiday wares early, merchants are better able to gauge what the best sellers will be and then try to reorder those goods to meet demand. Also, putting the merchandise on the sales floor gets it out from the back room, where there isn't enough space to contain holiday inventory.

The National Retail Federation found that 40 percent of consumers started their holiday shopping before November. A series of events this year has made retailers particularly skittish about the season. Consumers have been more charitable, as they dug deep into their pockets to help hurricane victims. Now they face winter heating bills that are expected to be an average of $350 more than last year. And they remain in debt--on Monday, the Federal Reserve reported that total consumer debt was unchanged, after a 10-month run-up.

"The retailers are competing for what's left of consumers' spending," said Gary Levin, a partner in Deloitte Services LP. "They are promoting earlier, trying to get the shoppers earlier." Merchants arn't taking any chances. Toys 'R' Us' big toy book arrived in mailboxes two days before trick-or-treating. Wal-Mart Stores' "home for the holidays" campaign, which began Nov. 1, is the earliest and most aggressive holiday push in its history.

It was Yankelovich Inc., a consumer research firm, that coined the phrase season treason. "Treason is a betrayal and if you think about the real essence of the holidays, which people talk about getting back to, if the marketing community disrupts that feeling, its a betrayal of the holiday," said Mary-Kay Harrity, a Yankelovich partner. "Ratcheting up the frenzy, that's going to increase people's level of agitation," she said. "It's almost robbing consumers of some of that holiday experience." But for retailers, that criticism is outweighed by the benefits. For several years now, retailers have reported a surge of last-minute consumer spending. This year, holiday retail sales are expected to increase 5 percent, compared with a 6.7 percent gain a year ago, according to the National Retail Federation. "Our nature is we're shoppers and we pick things up as we go along," said Candace Corlett, principal at WSL Strategic Retail, a New York-based industry consulting firm. "And the more that's there, the more temptation there is and the more you pick things up."

--Chicago Tribune

Five Hispanic Markets, Not One

10/20/05 - The Hispanic population in the US is forecast to increase dramatically in the coming years. In California alone, Hispanics now account for 33% of the population. Hispanics account for 50% of those under age 24 in the state.

Recent research identified US cities with the fastest growing Hispanic populations, those cities increased to 30% or over during the 2001-2004 period included; Dallas (53%), Orlando (46%), Salt Lake City (43%), Phoenix (41%), Fort Myers (37%), Denver (33%), Atlanta (33%), West Palm Beach (31%) and Houston (30%).

Marketers are paying increased attention to this group, but the notion of treating them as a single entity is misguided. Research identified five clusters of Hispanics that make up the population:

Young Americans - 31% Only 24% are foreign born. They have a HHI of $60K. Only 17% prefer to speak Spanish only. They are likely to be the children of the Old Ways and Pioneers.

Pioneers - 6% Older at 65 years, but have integrated into the US way of life (only 21% prefer to speak Spanish). They have a HHI of $50K.

Settled In - 17% Younger than the Pioneers at 43. They have the highest HHI of all groups at $68K. Only 19% prefer to speak Spanish.

Old Ways - 17% Traditionalists. They have been in the US for over 20 years, but 61% still prefer to speak Spanish.

New Lifers - 29% New to the US, have been in the country an average of eight years. They are the second youngest group, with an average age of 31 years. Not yet assimilated into US culture, 61% still prefer to speak Spanish.

-- Scarborough Research

Home Depot Celebrates Hispanic Culture Through Color and Paint With Colores Origenes

10/14/05 - The Home Depot announced the launch of a new Hispanic color palette named Colores Origenes. Capturing the richness of colors influenced from Latin America and the Caribbean, the vibrant palette will feature more than 70 colors. The color palette is the first of its kind and was created after research demonstrated that consumers would welcome a paint line that reflects Hispanic culture, with Spanish names to provide inspiration through a collection of shades they can relate to visually. Origenes, which means the origin of one's roots, is sold exclusively at The Home Depot in select stores.

"Research shows that painting is one of the most common home improvement projects undertaken by Hispanic consumers," said Tom Taylor, executive vice president of Merchandising & Marketing at The Home Depot. "It was a natural fit for us to create a color palette that would celebrate the richness of Hispanic culture as well as to further demonstrate our ongoing commitment to being the company of choice for Hispanics."

The use of international style themes is popular in home decor today. With Spanish names like Azul Cielito Lindo (Lovely Blue Sky) and Chayote (Chayote Squash), the colors will help create visuals of Latin America and serve to inspire consumers who are looking to capture that culture in their home decor.

In addition to the research that revealed painting is one of the most popular home improvement projects among Hispanics, it also demonstrated that 59 percent of Hispanics speak Spanish all the time and are more likely to purchase brands advertised in Spanish. Advertising for the new color palette will be featured in Spanish while signage and promotional materials in The Home Depot stores will be bilingual.

The Home Depot has an increasing focus on serving and marketing to the rapidly growing Hispanic community. Hispanics are the fastest-growing consumer segment in the nation, representing 14 percent of the U.S. population. It is estimated that by 2008, Hispanics will have an approximate annual purchasing power of $1 trillion or 9.6 percent of the U.S. GDP.

The Pop Equation: What Makes a Shop that Pops!

10/13/05 - In the world of retail it used to be enough to have an interesting idea for a store, find a good location, and fill it with a nice selection of attractively priced merchandise. With those factors right, you had a pretty good shot of making a go in retail. But not anymore.

Today making a retail concept work is far less about the tangibles or objective aspects of the business "product, location, price" and all about the intangibles that color and flavor the shoppers' experience in the store. In retail the bar has been raised and to be successful a retail concept today must offer an enhanced, truly memorable and distinctive shopping experience to their customers.

Luxury marketing expert Pam Danziger, author of Why People Buy Things They Don't Need and Let Them Eat Cake: Marketing Luxury to the Masses, as well as the Classes, has begun research on her next book that will help retailers large and small serving local communities and nationwide clientele succeed in the new experiential retailing paradigm. Shops that Pop! will be published by Dearborn Trade Publishing fall 2006.

"In the past thirty years we have seen the retail industry morph through dramatically different incarnations. In the 80s it was the explosion of the mega-shopping malls anchored by major department stores. In the 90s that all changed with shoppers turning away from the confines of the malls and their department store anchors to free-standing discount stores where the prices were good and getting in and out of the store easy," Danziger says.

"Then in this first decade of the 21st century, fickle shoppers got tried of "how low can you go" pricing and instead turned to stores that offered greater and greater luxury value at a reasonable, though not necessarily cheapest, price. Thus the boom in luxury retailing got into full swing, with retailers like Target, TJ Maxx and Kohls offering luxury for the masses; Nordstroms and Neiman Marcus presenting luxury for the classes; and retailers Coach, Ralph Lauren Polo and Estee Lauder offering luxury for everyone in between through their range of branded full-priced stores, department store boutiques and discount outlet stores."

The Pop Equation: Field Guide to Shops that Pop

The next new thing that will transform retail in the coming decade will be a shift toward entirely new kinds of shopping experiences. Shoppers are rejecting the old concept of "hunting and gathering" shopping in favor of a more involving, interesting, dynamic retail experience. The shops that pop, which will be profiled in Danziger's new book, are stores on the cutting edge of the new experiential retailing paradigm. The distinctive features they have, called the Pop Equation, include:

- High levels of customer involvement and interaction: Shoppers don't just browse the aisles. Shops that pop encourage customers to touch, feel, taste, try on and participate in the store in a more involving way, like Charlotteville's Feast! gourmet food store and Atchinson, Kansas' Nell Hill's home store.

- Evokes shopper curiosity: Shops that pop excite consumer curiosity to explore and experience, from the shop windows and entrance through the different displays. Altanta's Boxwoods Gardens and Gifts lures shoppers through a maze of wonderful displays that promise a new treasure around every corner.

- Have a contagious, electric quality: A shop that pops exudes energy and excitement. They are so kinetic that even shoppers not all that into the category feel there is something in the store for them, like lifestyle boutique Anthropologie.

- Convergence between atmosphere, store design, merchandise: A shop that pops presents a comprehensive vision that captures all the tangible and intangible elements. Colonial Williamsburg Gift Shops and Stores are true to their colonial 18th century roots throughout.

- Values-driven concept: A shop that pops is more than just a store selling stuff. It is conceptually driven and reflects a visionary's values. It transcends being just a store into a new realm of experience, like Rapid City's Prairie Edge where we can touch, feel and participate in Native American culture through art, crafts, fashion, jewelry, books and home furnishings.

- Accessible, non-exclusive and free from pretensions: Shops that pop have all the preceding qualities, plus another essential feature - they are immediately accessible to everyone, free from pretensions of exclusivity or snobbishness. The new lifestyle shopping centers, like Columbus, Ohio's Easton Town Center, get rave reviews from shoppers because they are so much more accessible than the old-fashioned enclosed mall. Las Vegas' Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian opens ultra-luxe shopping to the masses through an engaging, theatrical shopping environment where the hoi polloi rub shoulders with the high-rollers and everyone feels comfortable.

Marketing Strategy

10/5/05 - In predicting how American consumers will shop this season, WSL Strategic Retail points out that retailers have to drive American consumers into stores to buy at a time when their world is so off kilter. To have more than marginal success this season, smart retailers are going to have to find ways to give shoppers permission to shop. The essential message this season has to be all about "giving" and "good deeds," about gifts that are important, essential, meaningful, and thoughtful; about great wallet-stretching deals and special "we know that life's tough" values. Big, early deals; convenient gas-saving shopping trips; gifts for family and friends to share; necessities-as-gifts and gifts to those with less will be on most shopping lists.

Home Sales Parties

10/5/05 - Home parties are in full swing with products from home decor to crayons. Customers are attracted to the gatherings for the personal touch and service. Amy Robinson, spokeswoman for the Direct Selling Association, says 74 percent of consumers have purchased something via direct selling. What is largely reinvigorating interest in direct selling is the span of products available, including scrapbooking, home decor, shoes, and more. The industry historically offered functional products such as plastic storage containers and health and beauty items.

"If I bring it to you in your home, there's no real distraction, and I can get you to shop for an hour and a half. If you come in the store I'm lucky to get you to shop for 15 minutes," says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at marketing information company NPD Group. "Today, we're more removed from people - we pay at the pump, go through express lines at fast-food restaurants and shop online. So what they value about direct selling is the one-to-one service in a party environment," says Jill Blashack, founder of home taste-testing direct seller Tastefully Simple. "It's the relationship piece of this that makes the business grow."

Industry sales, almost all accounted for by home sales parties, were nearly $30 billion in 2003, vs. $17 billion a decade ago, according to the DSA. Business is easy to set up. No business plan, no test marketing. Partygoers pay at the event, sellers take orders and have the products shipped. Among those rejuvenating direct selling:

*AtHome America. Founders and sisters Lisa Brandau and Becky Wright of Alsip, Ill., diversified their home decor business to move from country-style furnishings and accents to a more eclectic mix. They asked two patrons to host a party to show off the new additions. "We did more sales in a couple of hours than we did in an eight-hour day at the Country Peddler," a store they once owned. "It was a proverbial light bulb going off," Brandau says. After a couple more home parties they began recruiting patrons to become sales agents. Today, the HomeStyle Specialists, as the sales agents are called, number 7,000 nationwide.

*The Body Shop At Home. The division of the mall-based chain The Body Shop started in October 2001 with four people in three states. Now, thousands of consultants sell its body butters, bath accessories and fragrances in all 50 states. "Many customers dislike going to malls or shopping online and prefer the personalized attention, customer service and fun-among-friends experience of a The Body Shop At Home event." spokeswoman Sally Robb Haims says. The party experience is called a GNO, which typically stands for girls' night out.

-- USA Today

Halloween 2005

9/26/05 - Halloween is becoming an even bigger business, according to the National Retail Federation. The NRF 2005 Halloween Consumer Survey revealed that consumers are expected to spend $3.29 billion on the holiday this year, up 5.4 percent from $3.12 billion in 2004, with young adults accounting for much of the increased spending. According to the survey, 52.5 percent of those polled plan to celebrate Halloween this year, with the average person spending $48.48 on merchandise, up from $43.57 last year. "For many retailers, Halloween represents the big kickoff to the fourth quarter," said NRF President Tracy Mullin. "Consumers are pulling out all of the stops when it comes to decorating their homes."

3rd Annual National Care Week

Care Bears Partner with Simon Kidgits Club, Gifts In Kind International and Scholastic Books for Weekend of Sharing Fun in Malls

9/14/05 - American Greetings and Joester Loria are proud to announce a marketing alliance with Simon Brand Ventures, the business-to-consumer arm of Simon Property Group ("Simon"), to kick off the 3rd Annual National Care Week on Nov. 5 and 6 with caring-style celebrations at 88 Simon Malls across the country.

Thousands of children will learn how fun and rewarding sharing and caring can be at the events, which will feature costume character appearances, story time readings by local celebrities, and previews of classic fairytales read by Share Bear. Craft stations will distribute a free Care Bears coloring sheet, an activity book and an "I Care, I Share" sticker badge for each participating child. Children will also have the chance to donate a new or gently used book to underprivileged children in their community, through Gifts in Kind International.During National Care Week,

November 5 - 11 the Care Bears will once again promote "Caring and Sharing" through good deeds among preschoolers based on the "You're Never Too Young to Care" preschool curriculum program. Educators, along with parents, are encouraged to organize community activities for their classes that will empower young Americans to carry out acts of kindness through caring and sharing. Outreach for this year's National Care Week will expand to more than 31,000 preschools and over 10 million children, teachers and parents. The program is supported by a custom in-school curriculum to guide early educators in how to instill these values both in and out of the classroom.

Communities will be encouraged to consider donating books to child victims of Hurricane Katrina. Gifts In Kind International is the 3rd largest charity in the U.S. and assists companies in donating products to over 200,000 nonprofit organizations around the world.

Baby Boomer Marketing

9/12/05 - Some estimates place the size of the leading edge of the baby boomer market ( 50-64 year-old) roughly at 36.7 million. The over-50 population is increasing faster than the under-50 population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Every day for the next ten years, more than 10,000 Boomers will turn age 50. An affluent group, the older boomer sector has an annual spending level of $1 trillion, and spend an average of $46,160, based on research by MetLife. An AARP report points out that while mature Americans make up 35 percent of the population, they have 77 percent of the financial assets and 57 percent of the discretionary income.

The three most common online activities for the older Boomer are checking weather (79 percent), looking for information about a hobby or interest (78 percent), and buying a product (71 percent).

Popular e-commerce activities include travel reservations (68 percent), checking financial information like stock quotes or mortgage rates (48 percent), and paying bills (33 percent).

Compared to the average Internet user, the 50-64 year-old is more likely to visit the five following categories, in this order: pharmacy, online trading, coupons, Lotto/sweepstakes, and consumer goods.

Products they had purchased online: airline tickets (52 percent), books (49 percent), hotel reservations (43 percent), gifts over $50 (36 percent), home electronics (33 percent), CDs (28 percent), toys (22 percent), DVDs (20 percent), health and beauty products (18 percent), and home furnishings (12 percent).

Matt Thornhill is president of the Boomer Project, a market research firm that specializes in marketing to consumers over age 50. He identifies key strategies for reaching these consumers:

* Larger font size.

* Use bolder colors rather than pastel colors. Based on Thornhill's research, older boomer respond more to ads with bolder colors.

* Put your message in terms of a positive. Researchers at Stanford University found that the older a consumer is, the more likely they will ignore negative messages.

* Use an emotion-based rather than a fact-based appeal. This strategy is true for all consumers - emotion is always more persuasive than logic.

* Market to their 'life stage' rather than their age "When you ask a Boomer 'how old do you feel?' their answer averages about 14 years younger than they are," Thornhill says. - Boomers often don't follow traditional age-related behavior patterns. "Boomer haven't followed in their parents' footsteps," Thornhill says. "They keep recreating themselves every 3-5 years." As an example, he notes that both David Letterman and Billy Crystal are 58 years-old. Yet Crystal has a 2-year-old granddaughter while Letterman has a less than 2-year-old son. "So they're the same age, but they're in completely different life stages."

9/09/05 - Americans increased the amount of money they spent on gifts in the first half of 2005, according to a new study. The average consumer spent $563 on gifts through June 30, the study finds. If consumers keep up the pace, total gift spending for the year could reach $1,853, up 7.4 percent from the average of $1,726 they spent last year. Consumers could spend $908 for Christmas gifts, a 10 percent increase over the $826 average gift budget last year.

Clothing and accessories remained a favorite gift choice in the first half of the year, and are expected to continue as a significant gift category through the holidays. The study finds that 96 percent of those surveyed bought gifts for occasion like birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, and 84 percent bought gifts for holidays like Mother's Day, Father's Day and Valentine's Day

--Pam Danzinger

The Christmas Decorations Arrived - Early

9/07/05 - Back-to-school shopping is barely over, but retailers think people are ready to trim Christmas trees. Holiday decorations are already on store shelves, in some cases, earlier than ever before. Giant inflatable snowmen, artificial Christmas trees and nativity scenes showed up more than two weeks ago at Sam's Club stores. Costco has ornaments and lawn decorations, and Michael's Arts and Crafts Store is selling stockings and collectible figurines.

Retailers across the nation ring up more than $200 billion of merchandise - from clothes and electronics to greeting cards and tinsel - during the holidays, according to an industry trade group. Last year, the National Retail Federation predicted people would spend an average of $35.91 on decorations and $702.03 overall. Spending has been increasing for several years "Consumers are leading the trend," said Ellen Davis, spokeswoman for the federation. "People like to get their decorations early." Card shops, craft stores and discounters are typically the first to promote holiday merchandise, but most retailers wait until October. Last year, 18% of shoppers began buying gifts before September, the National Retail Federation reports.

Baby Boomers Spend More Online Than Other Age Groups

8/02/05 - Baby boomers spend more online than average online users despite comparable incomes, according to a new study. 37% of online baby boomers who bought products or services on the web said they spent more than $250 in the prior three months. That compares with 32% of online users in all age groups. 76% of baby boomers have made online purchases of products or services. Baby boomers - those born between 1945 and 1964 - account for nearly one-third of the online population, making them the largest age group on the Internet. And they are as tenured as the average online user - 48% have more than five years online experience, compared with 51% of total online adults.The online baby boomer population skews younger than does the general baby boomer population - almost one-third were between 40 and 44 years old. About 52% of the online boomer population is female.

--Jupiter Research

Christmas in July Tradition Creates Economic Boost

7/29/05 - According to Sleep Country USA Executive Vice President, Terry Horsley, "No one, especially not Sleep Country, is about to suggest that we change the date of our traditional Christmas celebration from December 25 to July 25. However, many institutions from Churches to non-profits, as well as the retail industry and especially consumers, are seeing the benefits of creating some new traditions at a time of year other than the customary holiday season."

This is not just a Pacific Northwest phenomenon, but also one that is garnering worldwide support. For example, with many people from the northern hemisphere now living in places such as Australia and New Zealand, it has become a tradition to have two Christmases, one on December 25th and the other in July, which is mid-winter there.

Many hotels, restaurants, and homes celebrate Christmas in July, complete with tree, gifts and of course all the foods that are traditional for the Christmas season. For many, including those of us in the Pacific Northwest, summer seems to be the time when families can more easily get together for reunions or just to enjoy that long anticipated summer vacation. Many mainstream Christian churches have adopted the Christmas in July theme in their youth camps, vacation bible schools, as well as their donation drives. Organizations such as the YMCA, Friends of our Troops, art museums and many others, reveal a growing interest in the Christmas in July theme.

A quick search of Yahoo displays just how popular this mid-year celebration has become. "These mid-year opportunities, tied in with the Christmas in July concept, are giving retail sales and the economy in general a shot in the arm," said Terry Horsley. "Consumers are the beneficiaries of these special promotions across the entire retail industry and find some of the best bargains at a time of year they least expect it. We plan to continue the tradition at Sleep Country."

There will always be an emphasis on traditional holiday season shopping that ties in with this very special time of year for many religious denominations, but July can be a fun time to enjoy some of these traditional year-end events and activities while the sun shines and families are together.

--About Sleep Country USA: The largest retail chain in the Northwestern United States featuring premium brand mattresses, adjustable beds, futons, and wood and metal accent beds. Founded in 1991, the company currently operates 49 retail stores in the states of Washington and Oregon.

Harry Potter Promotions

7/14/05 - Bookstores will be playing host to a variety of parties and activities Friday night leading up to the magic moment at 12:01 a.m. Saturday when copies of the latest Harry Potter book can be sold.

Some of the upcoming promotional events: "Midnight Magic" pajama parties, Harry Potter-related contests,games and giveaways. Look-alike contests, magicians, trivia games, costume contests, face painting, crafts, mask-making, scientific experiments, games, treats and prizes, wand and hat making, temporary tattoos, raffles, and craft shows.

Continuing the Harry Potter frenzy will be the upcoming movie "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire".

Retailers Target Grandparents

7/10/05 - The leading edge of the 77.6 million baby boomers in the US are heading into their grandparenting years and retailers are ready. The industry that already has given us Baby Gap, Pottery Barn Kids, Cargo Kids and Talbots Kids, plus independent local stores focusing on everything from baby clothes to his or her toys, has even more to sell.

Expect an explosion of stores and ads geared toward Grandma and Grandpa's wallets. The spending potential is huge. In 2002, baby boomers' after-tax income was $2.5 trillion, it isestimated that grandparents spent $23 billion on their grandchildren that year. By 2007, baby boomers' post-tax income is estimated to reach $2.6 trillion.Even banks are targeting grandparents. Wachovia has recently been advertising its 529 college savings account specifically to grandparents.

Hispanics Population Tops 41 Million, Census Says

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's annual report , older Americans are increasingly white, while the younger are largely Hispanic, Asian or African-American. Hispanics have the fastest growth rate of any racial and ethnic group in the United States and trend experts say is likely to continue because of a steady pace of immigration and high birth rates and three times the growth of the U.S. population of nearly 293.7 million people.

One of every seven people in the United States identifies himself or herself as Hispanic, an ethnic group that accounts for about half the growth in the U.S. population since 2000, according to the census report. One-third of the Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native and African-American populations in the United States is younger than 18, while non- Hispanic whites make up more than 85 percent of people aged 85 and older.

Experts say the growing demographic of young Hispanics is likely to assert itself within the next decade on a national level with political and social concerns such as school financing, affordable housing and health care, and equity in the workplace for both legal and undocumented residents. A decade ago, Hispanics made up 40 percent of the nation's increase in population. From 2000 to 2004, that number jumped to 49 percent. Today, an estimated 41.3 million residents living in the United States are Hispanic.

Asian immigration now mirrors what Hispanic growth once was, with new immigrants coming from countries like India, China and the Philippines. Immigration among Hispanics peaked about five years ago but continues at a steady pace. Hispanic babies born in the United States now outnumber new immigrants. One in five children under 18 is Hispanic.

South Leads US in Fastest Hispanic Growth

Geographically, states with small Hispanic populations have shown the greatest growth in the last decade - with seven of the 10 fastest-growing states in the South. In the coming decades, the geographic dispersion of the U.S. Hispanic population should continue. In addition, as the demographics shift from immigrant to native-born, and from young to mature, Hispanic consumers are expected to become a more attractive market and represent a larger share of every consumer segment in the U.S. economy.

Marketing To Grandparents

There are an estimated 72 million grandparents in the US - and they are propelling a $30 billion market.

Baby Boomer grandparents are affluent, educated, and willing to spend to give their grandkids advantages. According to an AARP survey (2002), with changing family dynamics and more working parents, many grandparents are actively involved in caregiving as well.

According to the AARP survey, grandparents spend an average of $500 per year on each grandchild, with apparel, entertainment and food among the leading purchases. Spending also includes travel packages, dining, and phone cards (80% of grandparents speak to their grandkids at least once per week), along with financial services (25% help with educational needs).

Your marketing promotion should highlight the unique bond that grandparents have with their grandkids, and not imply that parents are inadequate.

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