The Rio Grande Valley experienced some economic hardships over the last year.
One report named the Valley as one of the places with the highest unemployment rates in the United States
Another report said McAllen had some of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.
It would seem most people would not be buying this year, but that was not the case. For retailers, this year TMs Black Friday was significant. "It tells us what to look forward to in the months to come," said Antonio Torres, General Manager at Best Buy off of Jackson Road in McAllen. The recession put a stop to most people's spending this year and retailers hoped that the bigger and better deals they offered on Black Friday would get people into spending mode. In the Valley that was exactly what happened. "We has a long line that wrapped around the building," said Torres. "We gave away over 2,400 cookies, 500 tacos and shopping bags for the early birds," said Isabel Rodriguez-Vera with La Plaza Mall. While analysts predict stores will not see more shoppers than they did last year, the crowds spoke for themselves. People loaded with shopping bags going from store to store looking for the next deal. "If it was up to me I wouldn't have come to the mall, said shopper Gabriel Sanchez. I'm not a mall person. I came for the sales.
Mary Rodriguez agreed. "There's a lot of sales going on so we came out to see what we could find," she said. Rodriguez-Vera with La Plaza Mall said people are shopping smarter by turning to the web to get better deals and stores know they have to step it up.
"Retailers know they have to give out better deals and shoppers know where to shop and where they're giving the good deals," she said. "It's a win win situation for everyone." By the looks of Black Friday 2009, it looked like retailers got their Holiday wish -- people spending again.