Holiday Retail Detail. Foreigner Spending: the Salvation of This Year’s Holiday Retail Season. Second City Style Fashion Blog

December 4, 2007 • Shopping


Sad but true, it may be a Merry Christmas for American retailers due mostly in part to foreigners.

Since the bullish economy and high gas prices are making for a Grinch filled holiday for Americans, it’s a feeding frenzy for overseas tourists, especially in New
York. The U.S. is on sale. It’s a bargain for the European
customer and they are shopping till they’re dropping, thanks to the plummeting

"There’s no question that [the tourists] are helping our
New York performance by a few percentage points," said Stephen I.
Sadove, chairman and chief executive officer of Saks Inc. "If you walk
the New York store, you hear the number of foreign accents. We’ve seen
people walking around the store with empty suitcases and heard about a
group of women from Iceland who chartered a jet to come and shop our
new shoe floor.  "The
dollar’s weakness against the euro, pound and Canadian dollar has made
shopping in the U.S. seem like a sample sale for tourists. Converted at
Tuesday’s exchange rates, the pound was worth $2; the euro, $1.47, and
the Canadian dollar was on par with the American dollar.

"Obviously, it’s a record-breaking year," said Michael Gould, chairman
and CEO of Bloomingdale’s. "It’s a year, based in short, on the value
of the dollar and the euro. Their disposable income and what they can
buy is staggering. Everybody is benefiting from the tourist business.
Business is good in other parts of the country, but not like New York."

emphasized that as encouraging as the business from foreign shoppers
may be, "This won’t go on forever. It isn’t just about the tourist
business. The [domestic] customer wants to pay for things that are new.
Our Chanel and Louis Vuitton numbers are stratospheric."

Hmmm, somehow that makes it sting just all that more, doesn’t it?

Read "Hooray for Weak Dollar: Flood of Tourists Boosts Retailers’ Holiday Traffic"

See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40

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