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CSNews Exclusive: 7-Eleven, Constru-Guia al Dia Target Hispanics

DALLAS -- Nearly 2,000 7-Eleven convenience stores in nine of the chain's top Hispanic markets in the U.S. will soon distribute the Spanish construction magazine Constru-Guia al Dia (Up-to-Date Construction Guide), in a move that provides the retailer's customers with relevant content while on the go, and greatly expands the magazine's reach.
With this action, the quarterly magazine will increase its readership 251 percent to more than 400,000 Hispanic males across the country. The magazine is already in more than 675 of home improvement retailer The Home Depot locations.
"Everyone is looking for ways to drive traffic and loyalty with this key customer," Kevin Kilpatrick, publisher of Constru-Guia al Dia, said in an exclusive interview with CSNews Online. "[7-Eleven] is looking at ways to deliver something [customers] can't get anywhere else, to differentiate themselves from the competitive set."
He also told CSNews Online the two companies mutually came to the arrangement. "The high frequency rate [of Hispanic consumers] in convenience stores made [this agreement] very intriguing" for Kilpatrick.
Distribution at 7-Eleven stores will begin with the magazine's summer 2010 issue, with more than 244,250 copies available at 1,954 7-Eleven locations in the retailer's top nine U.S. Hispanic markets -- Northern California, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and Washington, D.C.
"We identified numerous similarities between Hispanic male consumers at The Home Depot and those who shopped our 7-Eleven stores," Irene Sibaja, senior director of Hispanic marketing for 7-Eleven, said in a statement. "We conducted a coupon redemption test with Constru-Guia al Dia magazine last summer. It was a success -- the redemption percentage was even higher than we had hoped, giving us confidence that Hispanic consumers will take advantage of compelling offers."
The free magazine, which launched three years ago, targets the 39 percent of Hispanic males over age 25 who are employed in the construction or building maintenance industries, according to data by Experian Simmons from the spring 2009. Content focuses on job-site safety, the latest building techniques, and new products and services.
"So many Hispanic male magazines are focused on sports, but the beauty of what we've captured is that content is delivered to make them better professionals," Kilpatrick told CSNews Online. "That is our differentiator, we are not one of many .. we are relevant to such a wide swath of the [Hispanic] community."

Later this year 7-Eleven plans to offer Hispanic consumers free copies of Constru-Guia al Dia at select 7-Eleven stores via the free publication racks, she added.
Kilpatrick said the magazine looks for retail partners that are market leaders, have strong marketing savvy and are reaching same consumers who are interested in the magazine.

In other 7-Eleven news, 7-Eleven executives revealed plans for growth in Central Florida, which include the addition of 44 new stores over the next three years, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Of those, 13 will be opened this year, 15 in 2011 and 16 in 2012, according to the report.
"With other retailers contracting or abandoning their growth plans, timing is good to seize opportunities," the company said in a news release cited by the paper. "These include store sites we might not have seen a few short years ago. We are seeing more opportunities at attractive lease rates. Real estate valuations have declined making it an attractive market for buyers and lessees."
Also on Wednesday, 7-Eleven opened its first "green" store at 319 N. Woodland Ave. in DeLand. Company officials indicated the location is on track to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The store was built with construction materials obtained within 500 miles, features skylights and LED lighting to reduce energy costs, and is landscaped with drought-tolerant plants to conserve water, the report stated.
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