Photo by Croixboy
If you are reading this post, you are failing at being an American. Or so we are told. The economy can't be that bad if people are still out waiting in lines to buy new TVs and computers, right? The Star Tribune was on the scene at some local Best Buy stores and the lines were still there. Some even ate their Thanksgiving dinner in line. That's commitment to capitalism.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.
Americans aren't the only ones suffering. USA Today says there will be fewer foreign shoppers this year. The Mall of America isn't terribly concerned.
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.
So who is suffering? Santa.
Actually, never mind this whole shopping thing. Today is "Buy Nothing Day" and when you are working, it's not tough to play along. One University of Minnesota professor agrees.
Instead of heading out to the MOA for a shopping spree, check out MN2020's list of locally made gifts. Plan ahead!