It’s been just over a week since the U.S.-Mexico border was reopened for non-essential travelers, and businesses in San Diego are prepping for a boost in holiday sales.
On November 8th, the Department of Homeland Security officially uplifted travel restrictions for non-essential travelers who are fully-vaccinated, after nearly 2 years since the Trump Administration’s travel ban went underway during the initial rise of COVID in early 2020.
Businesses throughout the country, in particular south San Diego, took a toll on its holiday sales as Mexican travelers were unable to enter the U.S.
Black Friday sales in 2020 were down 5% from 2019, making the border restrictions a complicated barrier for businesses during the holiday season.
Stores at Las Americas mall are expecting a rise in holiday sales after the reopening of the border, being the closest shopping mall to Tijuana residents who cross frequently during this time of year.
Retail stores like Kate Spade took a toll as a result of COVID restrictions on non-essential travelers, but are now expecting sales to return to normal as they were before the national lockdown took effect.
“We have been trending down 45% percent of traffic from the year 2019 when borders were fully open.” Las Americas Kate Spade Sales Manager Maribel Orozco said.
On the opposite side of Las Americas Outlets locates Action Footwear, where Basel Deiranieh is Manager since they opened their store at the mall located in San Ysidro.
Deiranieh says they also took a hit in the midst of COVID, but states that they found ways to adapt to the pandemic.
“We had to cut expenses, cut overhead costs, have our staff work a little less, and that’s how we were able to stay afloat by adjusting.”
Deiranieh is hopeful for this holiday season, where he believes the items in his Footwear shop can provide full satisfaction for customers as Christmas approaches.
“We have a lot of stuff here that would make a great gift, from hats, t-shirts, a pair of shoes, socks, so my expectations are pretty high for retail this holiday season.”