The Trump backlash: Latino consumers wield new clout
By Herbert Lash and Nandita Bose
NEW YORK/CHICAGO, July 11 (Reuters) - When Donald Trump described Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug smugglers last month, Latinos took to social media to express their outrage and urge businesses to sever ties with the billionaire presidential candidate.
In short order, more than 10 organizations canceled their deals with Trump, in what Latino activists are calling an unprecedented recognition of their economic clout.
Latino spending power will hit $1.5 trillion this year, up 50 percent from 2010, according to the Nielsen Co, which analyzes consumer spending trends.
At an average age of 27, the Hispanic population is a decade younger than the U.S. average and just entering the prime of its earning power, market researchers said.
"Latino millennials have purchasing power and they're not going to tolerate Trump's comments," said Luis Fitch, a Mexican-American co-founder of UNO Branding, a marketing consultancy in Minneapolis. "Corporations understand the numbers, they don't want to risk this."
Hispanics under 30 were the single largest group behind a high-profile "Dump Trump" petition to Macy's Inc, which got more than 730,000 signatures, according to Angelo Carusone, organizer of the petition by liberal activists Moveon.org.
Carusone said he was in close contact with Macy's for days before the department store chain said in a July 1 statement that it would phase out Trump's menswear collection because it had "no tolerance for discrimination."
"Continuing with a brand association that alienates a rising customer base and makes them think negatively about the company just doesn't make good business sense," said a Macy's official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "You just cannot ignore the buying power the community has and no retailer in their right mind would want to turn them away." Continuación...