Sears Holdings Corp. is testing its Spanish fluency with a slew of new social media efforts targeted toward Hispanic consumers.
The Hoffman Estates-based company, which owns both the Sears and Kmart retail chains, is launching a Kmart-branded back-to-school YouTube miniseries styled after Spanish telenovelas.
“The Hispanic community is rapidly growing online and we thought it was time to provide them with some content,” said
Nydia Sahagun, Sears’ director of multicultural marketing. The show “is really about the bond between Latina friends and family.”
The eight-part series, called Madres y Comadres, follows two Latina mothers as they raise families in America while retaining their Hispanic identity.
The scripted, documentary-style shorts, filmed in Spanish with English subtitles, are accompanied by 12 video interviews with real mothers from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala and Colombia coping with the nuances of raising American children.
Shot in Darien, Conn. in a “Desperate Housewives”-style suburban enclave, Madres y Comrades features story lines including the mothers’ reactions to finding out their carefully made tamales have been traded for classmates’ tuna sandwiches or to a child’s report card that shows an “A” in Chinese—but a “C” in Spanish.
Last week, the retailer also announced the creation of a Hispanic Facebook channel (Facebook.com/SearsLatino) and Twitter handle @SearsLatino, which communicates in both English and Spanish.
Kmart has also partnered with Latina celebrities Selena Gomez, a tween Disney channel star, and Sofia Vergara of the ABC sitcom “Modern Family” on clothing lines over the past year.
The efforts complement Sears’ ongoing bilingual strategy. The company introduced a Spanish translation of its e-commerce site in 2002; more recently, an entire Spanish replica of the English site, sears.com/espanol, went live in 2009 and a new site with different products geared toward Puerto Ricans—www.SearsPR.com— launched last year.
It’s all an expanded effort to capture the spending power of the largest minority group in the country. The U.S. Hispanic population grew by 43% in the last decade, surpassing 50 million and accounting for about 1 out of 6 Americans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
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