Black Friday: Stop reading this, start shopping
And why should you be shopping your money away? The Mall of America of course. All eyes are on our treasured landmark to see how it weathers the economic storm.
Some retailers are using targeted marketing. Minnesota's Mall of America has its own tourism department, which works with tour operators and visitor bureaus, and some employees visit countries to promote additional traffic.
"We see this as being another strong holiday season for international visitors," spokesman Dan Jasper said.
At least 3 million shoppers from places including Canada, Britain, Japan and South Korea visit the mall every year, he said, with about 1 million between Thanksgiving and New Year's. He said Minnesota's lack of sales tax on clothing and shoes gives travelers extra incentive.
George John, a marketing professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, said promotion may help, but foreigners may postpone trips until the economy improves.
"I'm absolutely confident there's not a single person from Iceland shopping at Mall of America right now. I doubt being a destination will make you completely immune," John said.
MinnPost has a big piece on the Mall of America, produced by University of Minnesota students. Their sales are up nearly 4 percent this year while other malls and retailers are struggling to stay open at all. It's a destination, not just a place to shop of course.
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