US Retailers Hit as Immigration Worries Weigh on Hispanic Spending

Many U.S. Hispanics are venturing out only to buy essential goods and are cutting back on discretionary spending, worried about possible harassment by immigration or law enforcement officials since the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, according to community groups, research firms and retailers.

This change in consumer behavior by the country’s second-fastest-growing ethnic group has recently been cited as a cause for worry by already-struggling consumer companies, from big-box retailers to auto parts makers.

O’Reilly Automotive Chief Executive Gregory Henslee told analysts earlier this month that many of the company’s stores with weak second-quarter sales were in Hispanic-dominant areas of the United States. “It’s not just something that we’ve seen. It’s something that most retailers have seen,” Henslee said.

In late July, Target Corp Chief Executive Brian Cornell at a conference referenced a report by retail consultants NPD Group that cited a decline in discretionary spending by Hispanics.

“They

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