Mar 29, 2013 9:25 PM by Lupita Murillo
TUCSON- Holy week is not only a religious holiday, it's also a boom for Southern Arizona retailers.
Local malls are typically packed with Mexican nationals who visit Tucson during the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
During Semana Santa, or Holy Week, the license plates in parking lots show our neighbors to the South are in town.
Marta de Lopez and her family arrived Thursday from Guaymas. They began their shopping spree at Foothills Mall.
"More stores," Lopez said. "And offers and variety of everything."
Fernando Valdez, who is also of Guaymas, said he saves his money to come to Tucson with his family.
According to Foothills Mall merchant Alexa Rodriguez, Mexican shoppers are critical to Tucson's retailers.
"They've been making most of our money this week," Rodriguez said.
Reports show Mexican shoppers spend about $1 billion in stores, and restaurants yearly in Tucson and Easter week shopping is a big chunk of that.
"It's been a great week all week, said Foothills Mall merchant Mary Wallace. "And we anticipate an increase in sales just based on the traffic."
Electronic store Curacao opened six months ago. The week of Easter, they had a huge sale to attract the Mexican shopper.
"We have specials from 20 percent discount up to 70 and 80 percent discounts," said Curacao employee Guillermo Martinez.
As long as department stores keep offering special prices, the Mexican shoppers said they would be here.