Multicultural Hall of Fame Launches for Retail Industry

SAN DIEGO — A new awards program is being launched at this year’s Multicultural Retail 360 Summit, the premier conference for retailers looking to grow their business with America’s multicultural consumers.

Taking place Aug. 24-26, the Summit will debut the first-ever Multicultural Retail Hall of Fame for the retail industry to honor multicultural pioneers who have helped retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies advance in their knowledge of multicultural consumers and how to better engage and do business with them.

Isabel Valdés, CEO of Isabel Valdés Consulting, will be the inaugural inductee. She was selected from among several other candidates by the Multicultural Retail 360 Retailer Advisory Board, comprised of a dozen leading mass, drug, supermarket and convenience store retailers from across the nation.

Valdés is also chairperson of the Center for Multicultural Sciences, the first U.S. think tank dedicated to bridging the gap between corporations and academic research in multicultural marketing.

“The main criteria is someone who was a pioneer in multicultural marketing — someone who was advocating for greater attention to the growing number of multicultural consumers in the United States before others recognized the opportunity, or someone who developed a new way of looking at these emerging consumer groups,” said Don Longo, editorial director of Multicultural Retail 360.

A native of Chile, Valdés is the creator of InCulture, a research methodology that looks far beyond language to define consumer habits. She founded her first company, Hispanic Marketing Connections Inc., in 1987 and served as CEO for 15 years. The company’s slogan, “It’s not a matter of language, it’s a matter of culture,” has become an ethnic marketing mantra.

In the 1990s, Valdés’ methodology helped shatter the image that many Hispanics are too low income to purchase new cars. Working with Honda of America and an advertising agency that was “100 percent Latino,” she took a granular, cultural look at the topic. The result was a “welcoming” campaign that included Honda’s sponsorship of the World Cup and the Mexican ballet at Carnegie Hall. In the vehicle industry, Honda went from fourth place to first among Latinos in just one quarter.

The Multicultural Retail Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held Thursday, Aug. 24 at the conclusion of Day 2 of the 2016 Multicultural Retail 360 Summit at San Diego’s Hilton Bayfront Hotel.

The theme for this year’s Summit is “Optimizing the Omnichannel Experience for Multicultural Consumers,” with the event featuring speakers from Facebook; Zumba; Albertsons/Jewel-Osco; a panel of leading convenience store chains including Maverik, Chevron and ampm; as well as dozens of other retail, CPG, multicultural marketing and consulting firms.

The annual Multicultural Retail 360 Summit is presented by Convenience Store News’ parent company, Stagnito Business Information + Edgell Communications, based in Deerfield, Ill. 

Click here to find out more about Valdés’ pioneering work with multicultural consumers.

For more information or to register for the 2016 Multicultural Retail 360 Summit, go to

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