Mexican Shoppers Boost Texas Retail

Retail Traffic has written a couple of times about Canadians taking advantage of a favorable exchange rate and shopping in the U.S.

A similar dynamic is at play at the U.S./Mexico border. There, however, it's not so much about the exchange rate as it is by the fact that the Mexican school year starts earlier. Therefore, Texas retailers are getting a bump from some added back-to-school sales.

Janie Ortiz, a clothing store manager at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, estimates that as many as 85 percent of shoppers in her store these days are from nearby Ciudad Juárez or the city of Chihuahua, a three-hour drive south from the Texas border.

"They're very, very important because we're so slow," said Ms. Ortiz.

Sales started to pick up last weekend when Mexican students prepared to return to classes. As summer vacation ends in Mexico, families are busy shopping for last-minute items.

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