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Déjà vu? —Yogi was right

It's déjà vu — all over again.

The irony is that most of you who identify déjà vu's origin know it from TV quiz shows, where is has been a ubiquitous player for years.

It used to be that only those with graying or openly sparse quaffs would really understand the origins and significance of déjà vu.

What really brought it back into contemporary focus is that (drumroll) once again our nation's largest retailers have rediscovered ethnic marketing.

Whew! I really didn't think I would be able to cope with this new level of retail marketing sophistication.

The really big news in this ploy was the presentation by Sears last month in Florida. It churned through the same stuff Sears has been doing for decades in its ethnic marketing strategic pendulum.

And, just a tad earlier, we had the other big news from Kmart — about its renewed ethnic marketing program.

Then there is that somewhat dormant 800-pound ethnic marketing gorilla — JCPenney.

Once upon a time, way back when Plano wasn't part of the JCP executives' map reading requirement, the company led the field in all elements of community-specific marketing — product program including catalogs for African-Americans, Asian-American and Hispanic-Americans.

Alas, like so many things in retailing that showed leadership and foresight, these programs ebbed and flowed within the economic tides.

And of course, when Sears dropped its Big Book in the early '90s, the lack of central direction at the retail level hardly was one that would expand this valid marketing tool.

Over the years, we've seen others join with more local efforts — Target, living up to its name in specific locales, and Burdine's, The Florida Store, with specific advertising and signage.

But now that the world of consumer goods has acknowledged and is pushing for stronger segment marketing, déjà vu is no longer enough.

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