Hispanic Millennials Outspend Non-Latinos in Fashion

Mark Twain once said that “clothes make the man.” This sentiment runs deeply through the minds of Millennial Latino men—and women. Despite incomes that are often lower than those of non-Hispanics, young Latinos spend more on apparel than mainstream shoppers.

On average, Hispanics spend $1,998 annually on apparel and services compared to $1,659 for non-Latinos, said CT Latino News. Shopping for clothes is often regarded as a recreational family activity. But average income among Hispanics is lower than the national average of $50,000: $42,400 among U.S.-born Latinos and $35,900 for those who were native born.

In a June 2014 study of Hispanic Millennials ages 18 to 34 who live in Southwestern border states, Havas PR found that these Latinos are more likely (45 percent) to shop online branded fashion retailers than their non-Hispanic brethren (36 percent). Favorite retailers include The Gap, JCPenney and Zara.

When it comes to brick and mortar stores, 48 percent prefer retailers like Dillard’s and Macy’s compared to 37 percent of non-Latino Millennials. And 42 percent frequent local fashion stores compared to 29 percent of other shoppers.

Despite their higher spending, however, Hispanics pay close attention to price, with 79 percent citing low cost as a “major factor” in purchasing decisions. This was followed by the need for “a distinctive look that expresses who I am” (77 percent) and “a brand I Iike, even if others don’t (74 percent). At the same time, 76 percent rated comfort as the top criteria.

Interestingly, just 49 percent of Latinas said “latest style” is important. “A brand that’s cool among my friends” was the least important (31 percent) of the six criteria studied. This may be under reported, though, since many people do not acknowledge that they succumb to peer pressure. Still, more Hispanics than non-Hispanics referred to this factor, males more so than females.

Among Latinas, Zara is the most popular retailer, with 79 percent citing it as excellent/good. The percentage was lower among non-Hispanic women. Among male Hispanic Millennials, American Eagle was the top pick (73 percent). The retailer’s popularity is almost as strong among non-Latino males.

Hispanic Millennial men and women also rated JCPenney more favorably than non-Hispanics. But the gap was narrow.

The Havas PR study involved 800 Hispanic Millennials in four Southwestern border states.