PHOTO: Shopping is big business in Sin City. (Photo courtesy Thinkstock)
The Great Recession might have put a damper on domestic shopping in Sin City, but many retailers have seen gains as more international visitors have flooded the Vegas market place, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“When Fashion Show mall opened in 1991, the clientele at the family-owned Berger & Son Fine Jewelers was 50 percent local. Over the years, owner Stuart Berger has seen the business model change at his store in the first large-scale shopping mall on the Strip,” points out Jeff Scheid.
When asked where his customers were coming from, he pointed to the airport.
“Go to McCarran airport and see what the flight schedule looks like for the day … and that is my customer,” Berger tells the Review-Journal.
These days, Berger says that 80 percent of his business is from international shoppers — a fact that is borne out by airport traffic. Most of his buyers are from mainland China, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom. This is where most of the new airport traffic into Vegas is coming from.
Chris Jones, chief marketing officer at the airport, tells the Review-Journal that international air traffic is up 26 percent and there is more growth on the way.
“In December, Hainan Airlines will begin three-day-a-week flights from Beijing to Las Vegas which could add around 35,000 passengers a year to the total,” writes Scheid.
For more on how much foreign visitors mean to retail outlets in Las Vegas, read on here.