BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Ethnic marketing is far from new to Wal-Mart Stores. But that effort is even stronger now that the world's No. 1 retailer has established a multicultural marketing department and new Asian American strategies, among other moves.
From July to September, Wal-Mart tested a back-to-school micro-site in both English and Vietnamese. Located at www.walmart.com/vietnamese, the site was positioned as a back-to-school resource for study and clothing tips, school supplies and other suggestions.
The site remains live and currently includes information on the Wal-Mart MoneyCard (a prepaid Visa card) and other store services.
“We learned that Vietnamese have a strong in-language preference,” Tyrone Ried, Wal-Mart's multicultural marketing senior director, told SN.
Created one year ago, Ried's department focuses on Hispanics, South Americans and Asians.
Wal-Mart plans to refresh the site during the holidays and possibly expand it to other Asian languages, Ried said.
The effort comes at a time when Asian Americans represent about $459 billion in spending power and have the highest per capita income of any ethnic group. More than one-third spend more than $100 a week on groceries.
Wal-Mart also runs Asian American TV, radio and print ads, and some stores have signage recognizing major Asian American holidays, including the Harvest Moon Festival, and offer in-language brochures of Wal-Mart's $4 generic prescription service.
In other ethnic news, Wal-Mart's Sam's Club plans to test Mas Club, a new warehouse store catering specifically to Hispanics and featuring products from Mexico, in the first half of 2009 in Houston.