By Tamera Adams
tadams@nationaljeweler.com

From Victoria's Secret undies to UGG boots, products in American stores are being snapped up by foreign travelers visiting the United States. Some of this season's markdowns aren't even enticing enough to lure Americans out of their homes, so people aren't flying around the globe simply to catch a holiday sale. Europeans, Canadians and the Japanese are embarking on shopping excursions to the United States to take advantage of our weak dollar.


Breitbart.com explains, "The iPod Nano costs about 210 euros in Europe. At the rate of $1.43 for one euro, that makes it about $85 more expensive than the $215 price in New York, tax included."


The influx of foreign shoppers who need to get their great deals home has caused luggage sales to soar. FAO Schwarz is selling duffel bags right at the counter. As a matter of fact, many retailers are actively pursuing and accommodating their new customer base. Taubman Centers, which owns four shopping centers in the Detroit area, sent limousines stocked with eggnog and store coupons to chauffeur shoppers from Canada.


Lord & Taylor in New York City advertised its holiday windows as a tourist destination on 3,600 taxi TV screens. West Acres Shopping Center in Fargo, N.D., is running radio spots in Winnipeg, Canada. Brookstone in Tysons Corner, Va., has added items with built-in electricity converters for European and Asian customers.


Craig Johnson, president of retail consultant Customer Growth Partners, told The Wall Street Journal that it's not just the jet-setting upper class visiting the "Land of the Spree" for luxury goods. The lower and middle class are coming over too. One shopper from Stockholm was stocking up on lotions, perfumes and shampoos.


With reduced-rate airfares and discounted goods, many shoppers feel it's worth the trip. If you've ever traveled to a foreign country for the sole purpose of shopping, share your experience.






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