Singer/actress Jennifer Lopez announces Viva Movil by Jennifer Lopez, a new national wireless retailer designed for the Latino community, (Photo/Getty Images)

Jennifer Lopez, Verizon launch cell phone stores targeted to Latinos

Jennifer Lopez wants Latinos across the country to come to her when they need a cell phone or tablet so she has partnered with Verizon Wireless to create a new shopping experience designed to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding U.S. Hispanic market.

The Puerto Rican entertainer announced Wednesday that her newest business venture – named Viva Móvil by Jennifer – will offer cell phones, service plans and accessories through a national in-store and online shopping experience customized to the preferences of bilingual, bicultural U.S. Latinos.

“I have a drive to create things and create things that matter and change the world. That’s the basis for why I am artist and it’s not any different in my entrepreneurial ventures,” says Lopez, speaking from the CTIA Wireless 2013 Conference in Las Vegas. “I didn’t go into wireless because I think that’s where the future is; it’s not something I specifically targeted. I came from this from a creative standpoint, thinking about how the business could cater to a Latino market which I feel has been underserved. This is my way of empowering the Latino community.”

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Lopez is Chief Creative Officer and the majority stake holder of Viva Móvil, whose partners include mobile device manufacturer and distributor Brightstar and Moorehead Communications, one of the nation’s largest Verizon Wireless retailers.

Citing the fact that 75% of U.S. Latinos currently own smartphones, Lopez says that she has made sure that Viva Móvil fully addresses a wide range of needs across a rapidly growing Hispanic market that includes her family and friends.

“We have designed our stores with the way Latinos shop and this is for them,” Lopez explains, noting that the Hispanic purchasing power in the United States is expected to reach $1.5 million dollars by 2015. “That’s where the future is.”

The first Viva Móvil store will open in New York City on June 15 with other retail locations slated to open in major Hispanic markets like Miami and Los Angeles. All of the stores will be staffed by bilingual employees and will feature children’s play areas, as well as a “culturally relevant” store environment that encourages customers to linger as they test drive products.

Customers will also be able to purchase Jennifer Lopez-branded accessories,  standard Verizon phones and data plans on Verizon’s 4G LTE network via Lopez’s Facebook page, with the option to share news of their purchase with family and friends.

“Wireless is more important to Latinos than ever before and it’s a huge part of their lives – I think it empowers them to be successful in all areas of their lives,” says Lopez of creating a Hispanic business model for cell phone sales. She says that philosophy holds true for her own children, five-year-old twins Max and Emme.

“I’m just trying to raise them to be happy and healthy so they can go after their dreams and do what they love at the end of the day,” shared Lopez. “Because that’s what I’m doing. Everything I’m involved with is something I love. This community deserves to be catered to and has been overlooked for far too long.”

The announcement of Viva Móvil follows Lopez’s appearance at NUVOtv’s media upfronts in New York City, where she revealed her role as the cable network’s Chief Creative Officer charged with Latino programming. While the two ventures may seem worlds apart from Lopez’s early beginnings as a Fly Girl, the 43-year-old says her business dealings are an extension of her art.

“I’m just living my life and I’m an artist first,” Lopez divulged. “I tell everybody that even when I go into business with them. I’m an singer, dancer, actress and performer and everything I do beyond that is a blessing.”

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