When we are banking on the strength of the peso it’s over.
WSJ: Merchants in this border town on the brushy banks of the Rio Grande have pretty much given up on a Merry Christmas. But they’re still optimistic about a Feliz Navidad.
Sales to U.S. customers are slumping here like everywhere else. But Mexicans account for roughly half the retail business in Laredo, which like dozens of border cities has built up a bi-national shopping district that has boomed in recent years.
But the peso hasn’t been holding up so well either this year.
…Still, Laredo leaders are hoping that Mexicans will continue coming — and they are taking extraordinary steps to entice them.
City boosters recently left thousands of bags filled with promotional offers on doorsteps in San Pedro Garza Garcia, a wealthy Monterrey suburb that has been called Mexico’s Beverly Hills. The deep discounts, intended to help offset the weaker peso, included 11% off at Macy’s Inc., and up to 20% at other shops in Texas. Laredo’s promoters also hosted fashion shows in Mexico at a private club where well-heeled women gather for breakfast.
“If we can offer a 20% discount, maybe all this balances out,” said Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas.
So far, Mexican shoppers are still showing up. But some merchants said sales are slower due to the peso’s pinch.
….Sales at the mall declined in October but it still expects healthy gains this year thanks to its clients south of the border, Ms. Zuniga said.
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