Retailer eyes state’s Hispanic market - East Valley Tribune: Business

Retailer eyes state’s Hispanic market

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Posted: Monday, December 3, 2007 8:22 pm | Updated: 5:56 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

An upstart electronics retailer from California is expanding its presence in the Valley with an eye toward capturing Arizona’s 1.6 million Hispanic inhabitants.

La Curacao, a Los Angeles-based chain with nine California locations, opened its first out-of-state store at Phoenix’s Desert Sky Mall in September and began plans on a Mesa store early next year at the northwest corner of Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive.

A major incentive for La Curacao and other similar businesses expanding here is obvious — the Hispanic population makes up nearly 4 percent of the state’s combined purchasing power. The group accounts for about $6.4 billion annually, according to the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

But the company won’t stop in Arizona. La Curacao has set its sights on in Texas and Nevada as part of a slow expansion.

“We’re opening stores in clusters,” said Ana Maria Ortiz, a company spokeswoman. “We think (that) works.”

Ortiz said the retailer has no immediate plans to open more Valley locations because each store has a long geographical reach, with customers coming from as far away as Mexico.

Alberto Rodríguez, director of communications at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the retailer is very popular among Spanish-speaking shoppers. The company promotes itself with a variety of valuable services to the Hispanic community, such as its credit cards, which do not require a credit history, as well as Spanish-language signs and bilingual customer service employees.

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