I was in the hospital this weekend visiting my mom who had broken her thumb. In the next bed was a Salvadoran woman with diabetes and asthma. She spoke a little English but when the dietician came in to explain healthy eating, an interpreter was needed. From the bits and pieces I could put together, the woman was a single, 40ish house cleaner, somewhat overweight but not obese. (I know, I’m nosey.) Not sure of her education level, but clearly she needed some help with diet. Diabetes and steroids (for asthma) don’t go well together.
As I was thinking about this patient it dawned on me how my El Sears idea, for a Spanish language national chain store, would fit into this woman’s life. I’ve posted this idea a number of times before. In one part of El Sears might be a healthcare department where non-English speaking people and children can get healthcare information, e.g., diet, etc. I don’t see them dispensing healthcare, though with the proliferation of the doc-in-the-box concept, they certainly could. El Sears might offer banking services, insurance products, tax filing and other important specialty items – all with a Latin and Spanish bent. The possibilities are endless, if you think about it.
The demographics are such that this underserved/bodega-served part of the U.S. will be quite massive (30% by 2050, according to Pew Research). It is not if, it is when this will happen. Sears has the ability to do this better than most – better than a start-up. They should start converting stores now. And ride that demographic wave.