Bankers call it a “Shadow Economy,” because much of the spending by Mexican Nationals in the Valley has not been documented until recently. But the numbers don’t lie. McAllen’s largest mall at the south end of town generates $1,000 or more per square foot of retail sales. Considering that the national average in a mall is typically in the range of $200 to $250 per square foot, these numbers are astounding.
A few miles away, an outlet mall generates $650 per square foot of retail sales; an outdoor mall generates $500 per square foot and yet another smaller mall in the area generates $350 to $400 per square foot of retail sales.
These are undoubtedly some of the most impressive numbers in the entire country, and the reason they are so high is because of the Mexican National shopper coming from Monterrey spending their money in the U.S. One mall alone in McAllen generated $1 billion in retail sales in a year. And, 60% of the sales were paid for in cash. Nationally, malls tend to generate their money from 80% credit card use.