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KPBS Evening Edition

Mexican Consumers Flock to the U.S. for Holiday Sales

Katie Schoolov
Jorge Andrés Velasquez Gomez, from Guadalajara, spent all of Thanksgiving night shopping at the Las Americas outlet mall in San Ysidro.
Black Friday at the Border

Jorge Andrés Velasquez Gomez flew in to Tijuana last night from Guadalajara, Mexico — a three-hour flight. He planned his trip to give him just enough time to cross the border and get in line for the midnight opening of stores at the Las Americas outlet mall. The mall is just north of the border in San Ysidro. Velasquez Gomez was still shopping at 8:30 this morning.

“It’s tiring, it’s exhausting," said Velasquez Gomez, "but it’s really nice. It’s cool.”

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Mexico tried its own version of Black Friday for the first time this year. It was last weekend and it was tied to a holiday celebrating the Mexican Revolution. But Mexican shoppers at the outlet mall said the deals were much better on the U.S. side of the border.

“Despite the fact that the dollar is expensive now compared to the peso, the deals you can find at shopping malls here are quite attractive for us,” said Velasquez Gomez.

Nearby, three cousins used Black Friday as an excuse for an annual reunion. Dalila López Ávila flew in from Guadalajara and Cynthia López from Mazatlán to visit with their cousin, Paola Gonzalez, in Tijuana — and to go shopping. By mid-Friday morning, they had been at it for about 10 hours.

“The bags under our eyes say everything,” López said.

Of course, the money these shoppers saved might be cancelled out by the fee they’ll have to pay at the airport to lug all their purchases back home.