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Selena Tote Sells Out in Mere Hours, Crashes Website for Texas Grocery Chain

March 6, 2018 | Tom Higgins

HEB, a San Antonio-based grocery store chain, has hit the jackpot with its latest promotion. On Friday morning, the company released a special-edition, Selena-themed tote bag in stores and online. While HEB must have known that the bags would get some hype due to the late pop star’s passionate fan base, there was no way the grocer could have been prepared for what happened next.

While brick-and-mortar locations saw lines stretching outside their doors, the brand’s online store briefly shut down due to heavy traffic. By Friday afternoon, the bags were sold out entirely.

Now, when we hear about consumer hype on this scale, it usually surrounds some expensive gadget or overpriced sneaker collaboration. In this case, the people went crazy for a $2 branded tote bag. While we’re well aware that tote bags have been all the rage as of late as tasteful, even fashionable options for daily use amongst commuters, we’ve never seen anything quite like this before.

Selena’s enduring popularity certainly has something to do with it. When she was murdered in 1995 at the age of 23, Selena had risen to the heights of pop-superstardom. She was a supreme talent, the queen of Tejana music, and an icon who managed to inspire countless people with her music, especially those in the Mexican-American community.

By using her likeness on its branded tote bags, HEB consciously appealed to all of these things, and in doing so landed itself a marketing success for the ages. But it’s the details behind the promotion that make it truly significant. HEB teamed up with the Selena Foundation for an exclusive partnership, announcing that proceeds from the bags would go to the Boys and Girls Club of Coastal Bend. In addition, HEB will be donating $25,000 directly to the Selena Foundation.

While the bags were relatively cheap, it is being reported that they’ve been seen for sale on eBay for as much as $100. We don’t know about you, but we think that’s an awful lot of money to shell out for a tote bag.

It’s always interesting to see when a promotion like this leads to an otherwise inexpensive item becoming a collectible. It’s even nicer to see such a promotion succeeding to the benefit of a charitable organization. Despite her own brief life, Selena’s inspiring legacy lives on through her family foundation’s commitment to turning tragedy into change, one charitable act at a time.

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