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Peso Devaluation Affecting Brownsville Businesses’ Sales

4 years 1 month 3 weeks ago Friday, January 06 2017 Jan 6, 2017 January 06, 2017 9:02 PM January 06, 2017 in News

BROWNSVILLE - Merchants in the downtown area of Brownsville said the devaluation of the peso is driving down their sales.

Many retailers and businesses in the area said December is usually one of their biggest grossing months. However, for employee Norma Llie, last month was the worst month of the year they had.

Llie said sales plummeted about 75 percent. She had less than 10 people walk into the store on Friday. She said some just shield themselves from the cold weather.

The Mexican peso exchange rate has held steady at more than 21 pesos to the dollar.

“That’s too high for the Mexican shoppers because their wages are very low,” she said. “It’s been about a year already that sales are going down.”

Daniel Gloria works at a sporting store. He said the store has had to resort to putting more items up for sale. It’s one of the strategies they use to make it worthwhile for customers coming from across the border.

“I believe - based on past years and the sales of the dollar - more people were coming then. There were more sales,” he said.

Gloria added the peso will have to go down before their sales can go up.

For some businesses in downtown Brownsville waiting was not an option. We saw many places with their doors permanently closed.

One long-time merchant said she’s been selling toys in downtown Brownsville since the peso exchange was at 3 pesos to the dollar.

She said sales always rebound and she’s hopeful that will, too, happen this year.

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