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Jennifer Lopez targets Latino market with her own Viva Movil cellphone stores

viva movilNot content with pushing out hit songs, a successful acting career, running a film and TV production company, and launching lines in clothes and perfume, Jennifer Lopez, a woman evidently with more hours in the day than most of us, has announced she’s all set to open 15 cellphone stores in a deal struck between her Viva Movil brand and telecom giant Verizon. The venture is also backed by wireless firm Brightstar and Moorehead Communications, one of Verizon’s largest premium retailers.

The first of the stores will open its doors in New York on June 15, with more to open in Los Angeles and Miami.

So why exactly is JLo hoping to break into the mobile market? Ah, here’s why. According to the singer/actor/entrepreneur/etc, Latinos have a combined purchasing power of $1.2 trillion annually. Presumably she’ll be hoping most of that goes on mobile phones (and JLo-branded accessories) bought at her stores.

“Latinos need a place to go and they need to be catered to because it is such a growing demographic and market and people want to capture that, and they deserve to be catered to,” Lopez said Wednesday at a special event in Las Vegas announcing her new venture.

She added, “As an entrepreneur, empowering the Latino community is at the core of what I choose to have my businesses stand for and exemplify.”

Staff at the stores will be bilingual and trained to provide customers with a “culturally relevant shopping experience.”

Viva Movil’s deal with Verizon means it’ll be an authorized reseller, with identical prices and plans offered to customers. Available handsets will include the iPhone 5 and the Galaxy S4, as well as the latest devices from BlackBerry.

A bilingual website and Facebook app will also form part of the launch, with Lopez appearing on both to offer advice on the best handsets available. Shoppers will also be able to make phone purchases using the website.

The website is already live, and includes a statement from JLo suggesting “you deserve a better shopping experience, from premium stores that are family friendly, to being addressed in the language of your choice.”

So how about it? Do you think Lopez is onto something here with Viva Movil? Or is it a business venture doomed to fail?