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.

A powerhouse city. Boomtown. The epicenter of the Rio Grande Valley. There are plenty of ways to describe McAllen, Texas, but they all have one thing in common: growth.

The numbers are incredible for a city its size. With a population of around 140,000, McAllen generates more than $3 billion in gross retail sales thanks to 18 million people (an average of 39,000 people per day) who visit the city every year. Only 10 miles north of the Mexican border allow international visitors to flow through it via McAllen International Airport and the two international bridges managed by the city.

McAllen’s retail offerings make it the premiere shopping destination in South Texas and northern Mexico. Along with the numerous retail outlets and power centers throughout the city; McAllen’s most popular 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. Recently, La Plaza Mal added a 250,000 square foot expansion that includes two new parking garages and first-to-market retailers and restaurants, such as Kendra Scott, H&M and Yard House.

Newly established power centers also bring exciting new retail and entertainment options to McAllen. Shops at 29, for example, is home to anchor Dave & Busters, as well as Ulta and Burlington, while Palms Crossing boasts “just what you need, for every occasion” thanks to a list of retailers that includes Best Buy, Bath and Body Works, and DSW.

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.

The city is also home to the McAllen Convention Center and state-of-the-art McAllen Performing Arts Center, which brings international acts such as Tony Bennett, Julio Iglesias and the Beach Boys along with Broadway shows like Les Miserables and Jersey Boys.