Retailers should do more to court ethnic consumers – a Toronto Star report

I read a report on ethnic consumers and the comments on it published by Toronto Star. The report stated the obvious, I had touched upon it earlier, Grocery stores Eye South Asian market segment, however, the comments were very interesting. Asian FoodMost of the comments were against the idea of courting ethnic consumers. Following are being quoted from these comments,

– ethnic consumers are “minority”  and should be treated like a minority. Any efforts to please them will alienate the majority

– The writer is pro-foreigner anti Canadian…

– ethnic stores – that’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

– retailers should not change, stop enforcing your Homeland beliefs on us…

Many comments were on a tangent to the purpose of the report. I consider it a business report written by an analyst at the CIBC, stating the ground realities. Whether to court or not to court ethnic consumer is a business decision and will remain a business decision. It is unfair to expect ethnic immigrants to instantly drop their habits, cultural, likes and dislikes upon arriving in Canada. They will assimilate in due course, as the ones who immigrated before them have. Meanwhile, ethnic consumers have unmet needs that businesses try to meet for mutual benefits. It is a simple market-driven demand and supply equation.

Following facts from the article will further help alleviate the apprehensions about ethnic consumers:

– Over the next decade, up to 70% of retail sales growth in Canada will likely come from visible minority.

– Ethnic retailers sales are rising by 10% -15% per year.

The above facts are good enough for savvy retailers to channel a part of their marketing spend to attract ethnic consumers, with out hurting the mainstream consumers, more to cater for different needs than skin color. Ethnic consumers offer a business opportunity that retailers will go for, whether many among us like it or not.


About Fazal Siddiqi
Fazal Siddiqi Writes on current marketing, branding, communications, diversity and socio-economic opportunities & challenges. He lives in Canada and works for OPAL Marketing Group.

One Response to Retailers should do more to court ethnic consumers – a Toronto Star report

  1. Hamsassa says:

    thx for this services

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