McAllen cashes in as a shopping Mecca for affluent Mexicans
— reported by the Houston Chronicle(1)
The Texas-Mexico border is hardly a place where fashion designers would stake a claim.
There are no celebrities or upscale shopping districts. Yet, La Plaza Mall, which is half the size of Houston’s Galleria, is experiencing a fashion retail boom mostly by drawing Mexican shoppers across the U.S. border.
Located along a busy commercial street, La Plaza Mall is anchored by
heavyweights Foley’s, Dillard’s and JCPenney and includes nearly 150
stores from upscale retailers such as Deutsch & Deutsch jewelers
and the Laredo-based Joe Brand to the Gap and Victoria’s Secret.
Fifty-five percent of the mall’s customers live in Mexico, Soto
said, and visit the mall regularly to buy clothes for themselves, as
well as friends and family. Unlike traditional shoppers who may
purchase one or two items in one visit, she says, they are snapping up
hundreds or thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise in a single trip.