Posted on April 5, 2005

Wal-Mart Pursues Asian Americans

Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times, Apr. 2

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is betting that a new ad campaign in Asian languages will translate into more sales.

The world’s largest retailer Friday began running newspaper, radio and television advertisements in Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego and Houston, hoping to lure more Asian American shoppers to its stores. Print advertisements are also running in Taglish, a combination of Tagalog and English spoken by some Filipinos.

“We know they are a fast-growing consumer group … and we can see that Asian Americans are coming to our stores,” spokeswoman Linda Blakley said. “There are signals that are telling us it’s time.”


Wal-Mart’s latest marketing effort features actual shoppers speaking in their native languages about why they’re loyal Wal-Mart customers. In the Chinese ad, the Kwong family recounts how its weekly Wal-Mart trip is a family bonding experience.

Wal-Mart, which already advertises in Spanish, sees Asians as a fast-growing consumer group. Some stores in California, which has among the largest Asian populations in the nation, carry products catering to Asian tastes, including powdered miso soup and hot wasabi peas.