Some of you know that a couple years ago I moved from Connecticut where
I had lived for a very long time to Baiting Hollow, New York. Google map it.
It’s on the north fork of Long Island about 40 minutes from the very end.
At the end of my road there’s a golf course on the left, on the right a
horse farm and next to that is a potato vodka distillery; next to that is a
vineyard and across the street from all of those is a regular farm.
There are a lot of farms and vineyards on the eastern end of Long
Island. There are a lot of farm workers too, and for many, English is not their
Although it would seem from my description that I live in the middle of
nowhere, we have a Home Depot. I don’t know about your Home Depot but at
my Home Depot almost everything that comes in a package has English on one side
and Spanish on the other. Now, this seems to be fairly new. I think it may have
something to do with the fact that they are building a brand new Lowes across
the street from Home Depot. This Home Depot opened about 10 or 11 years ago and
like it usually does, gave the local hardware stores a ton of competition and
pretty much got none in return…until now.
It seems like now they are working very hard to make sure they speak the
language of all their customers.
Lowe’s has required that all vendors must include Spanish
translations on their US packaging, packaging inserts, and material safety data
sheets for all US shipments since 2005. Home Depot didn’t require Spanish
translation until 2008 and I’m reasonably sure it was not a top priority
at our local store until recently.
Spanish language website
Lowes.com has an entire website in Spanish. Home Depot used to have a
Spanish language site but pulled it down after only a few months because of
poor traffic and sales. For those Spanish-speaking residents in the United
States who are looking online for a home improvement store…where do you
think they will go?
Do you have a separate website in Spanish? Maybe you should.
According to the Census Bureau nearly one in five Americans speaks a
language other than English at home, which is an increase of nearly 50% during
the past decade. Some 47 million Americans 5 years and older used a language
other than English in 2000. Most of these speak Spanish, followed by Chinese,
with Russian rising fast. That translates into the nearly one in five, compared
with roughly one in seven 10 years ago.
The Spanish-speaking population in the United States increased by 62%
percent over the period to 28.1 million, representing a huge, potentially
untapped market for your business.
Don’t wait until a competitor comes to town to start speaking the
language of all your customers.