Why McAllen Means Business

The Rio Grande Valley is a culturally rich area encompassing the four (4) southern-most counties in Texas: Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy. The Rio Grande Valley is part of the international border region known as the, the Rioplex which includes the Mexican border cities between Matamoros and Cuidad Mier. The area has transformed in a major international trade region through careful planning which recognized the benefits of developing a diverse economy. Central to that economy has been the investment in attracting diverse shopping venues for the residents of the Rio Grande Valley and international shoppers. Annual retail sales of the Rio Grande Valley exceed $5 billion.

It is this approach to retail which has allowed McAllen to attract retailers into locating multiple stores in a city with a population of 140,000. Included in this list of retailers are national- level chains such as: Home Depot (2), Target (3), Wal-Mart (2), Walgreens (5), Sam’s Club (2), Best Buy (3), and Payless Shoe Source (5).

Along with the numerous retail outlets throughout the city; McAllen’s premiere shopping mall, La Plaza Mall, continues to be one of Simon Property’s premier shopping venues. Sales consistently rank among the highest per capita within Simon Property’s shopping venues. Recent renovations include remodeling the food court and front entrance. Additionally, plans to create a second floor will provide a venue for retailers looking to expand into this lucrative market.

How is it that a city our size is able to sustain so many retailers?

McAllen’s investment in infrastructure and marketing has created a venue where shoppers know where to go for products and can get there quickly. Furthermore, recognizing international shoppers as an indispensable asset is not unheard of. International shoppers account for 37% of retail sales in McAllen; make an average of ten (10) shopping trips per year to McAllen; and spend an average of $219 each trip. Monterrey, located just two hours from McAllen, boasts a population of more than three million people and has the largest concentration of millionaires per capita of any Mexican city. These brand-conscious shoppers take advantage of the close proximity of McAllen with its diverse offering of retail venues. All of this leads to McAllen having higher retail sales per capita than the National average.

In March, city officials unveiled an ambitious $10.7 million, City coordinated development project designed to transform property west of McAllen’s Convention Center into an upscale, urban area. The plan features mixed-use development along the city’s premiere green space; showcasing McAllen’s native vegetation and attractive retail space.