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Shoppers from Mexico provide boost for San Antonio retailers

Malls have also closed to comply with the order, including La Cantera on the Northside.
Kathleen Creedon | Texas Public Radio
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Early on in the pandemic, malls in San Antonio, including La Cantera, closed in order to comply with local orders.

Shoppers from Mexico are flocking to San Antonio this Holy Week to do some major shopping.

The President and CEO of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Richard Perez, says the shoppers are pumping millions of dollars into the retail business — something badly needed during the pandemic. Many would-be shoppers stayed home during the worst surges of the pandemic.

With the pandemic waning locally, at least for now, Perez said people want to travel and spend here.

He said they are coming from border cities and from big cities deeper in the interior of Mexico. He named a few for Texas Public Radio.

"The larger Mexican cities like Monterrey, Mexico City, Cuernavaca, you know, Guadalajara. Cities that have relationships with us through business and now more increasingly through tourism," he said.

He said the Holy Week shopping follows other recent boosts for the local economy, such as Spring Break and Fiesta, which has an annual economic impact of $340 million.

Perez said the shoppers favor downtown retailers and major malls, including The Shops at La Cantera.

"You just go to La Cantera and see the parking lots are full with Mexican license plates on the cars. It is an opportunity to move our economy forward in a very substantial way and we are thrilled," he said.

Perez said the latest fashions at local malls is one of the big draws for shoppers.

He said Mexico to San Antonio shopping excursions often include visits with local family members. He added San Antonio has several direct flights with cities in Mexico that make the trip north of the border convenient.

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