Jennifer Lopez launched a new mobile brand aimed at the Latino market that she describes as the first social shopping and social commerce environment in wireless. Viva Movil, which is now live on its Facebook page and at getviva.com, will open its first retail store on June 15 in New York City, followed by other locations in Los Angeles and Miami.
Announcing her new venture at a Verizon Wireless press conference at CTIA Wireless in Las Vegas this week, Lopez says there are 52 million Latinos in the U.S. with a combined purchasing power of $1.2 trillion last year. “We are bicultural, bilingual, and increasingly U.S. born,” she says.
If the U.S. Latino population were a standalone country it would be the 14th largest economy in the world, according to the chief creative officer and largest shareholder in the new venture.
“At the end of the day, the modern Latino needs to be served the way they serve the bottom line,” she adds.
Verizon Wireless has no ownership stake in Viva Movil, but it will be the exclusive service and device provider, says Verizon COO and EVP Marni Walden. The brand, which is owned by Lopez, Moorehead Communications, and Brightstar, will act as an authorized dealer of sorts, but highly targeting its footprint and sales to the U.S. Latino audience.
Viva Movil is also selling devices and services directly on Facebook, which is a “first,” according to Marcelo Claure, president and CEO of Brightstar, a mobile supply chain company that’s also the largest Latino-owned company in the U.S.
“Viva Movil is the first social shopping experience for wireless,” adds Lopez. Friends of Viva Movil customers will be able to see what devices they’ve bought or recommended and the entire purchase and activation process will occur inside the brand’s Facebook page, she says.
Viva Movil plans to open at least 15 stores in cities with large Latino populations by the end of the year. Latinos represent 16.3 percent of the population today, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. But as Lopez pointed out on stage at CTIA earlier this week, Latinos are also the fastest growing segment of the population, a total audience that is expected to comprise 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2050.