An Empty Mall at Christmas

I am not a huge shopper at all, in fact I quite despise the activity. I guess it's mostly because usually I have a two year old in tow who claims that everything is "MINE! MIO! DAMELO! GIMME!". Shopping is an exhausting task, a necessity y nada mas. Being forced to do some Christmas shopping, I have managed to get some mall time without Monster Max and I realized I can actually accomplish something without the extra 13 kgs on my arm. In the past week I have been to Plaza Las Americas, Gran Plaza, Walmart, Soriana and Paseo Cancun so I've had a fair sampling of the Christmas shopping season. What I have noticed is there are not many people out at all. Less than in years past for sure. When I mentioned it to Hubby, he just rubbed his fingers together and said "Nadie tiene lana", which means "Nobody has money". Is this just a phenomenon of Cancun's economy or is this happening everywhere?

We like going to Paseo Cancun just to walk around (er, run around when Max is with us). It's an outdoor promenade type mall in downtown Cancun, located behind Soriana. It's really quite beautiful and they always seem to have events of some kind going on, musical acts, dancers, clowns, etc., so we knew there would be a Santa there for Max. I've just realized that in all of our visits there we've never bought anything, for us it's just another "park". The only place we spend money there is the movie theater and the restaurants, usually Sirloin Stockade or Hooters. Max LOVES Hooters and the Hooters girls love Max.


Last night there were performances by singers and dancers in addition to the Santa and the Reindeer and Penguin. I was quite happy to see they had an art exhibition going on as well, though I was less than impressed with the art. Didn't matter, seeing anything cultural in Cancun is something good for the soul. With all this going on, just a few days before Christmas, the mall was practically empty. Beautiful, but empty.



I am not complaining about an empty mall at all, makes my life a whole lot happier, but I do worry about what it represents to the economy of the people of Cancun. The retailers in this beautiful mall are going to suffer big time and I just know that folks in Cancun are going to have less under their tree this year. The good thing is that most of them won't care, they'll be happy to be surrounded by their family. At least that's how I feel, we don't have much but we've got each other and I am feeling all warm and fuzzy thinking about how happy Max will be with his little stash from Santa and how happy I will be holding him in my arms on Noche Buena. Who wouldn't be happy with this cool dude?



Comments

Manolo said…
Ah, the little "Galán"... you almost made me cry with your reply to the previous Max posting when you said that you know that one day it will be your heart the one that he will break.

I agree with you, full malls mean a healthier economy... and in Cancún, so dependent on cash flow from outside, an slow season can be bad, at least that's my perspective. In August, visiting my family in Guatemala City I was happy to see the malls full of people with shopping bags in hand.
wayne said…
I was at Plaza las Americas Thursday night. It was crazy full of people. But I hardly noticed anybody carrying anything. Yesterday we had to run over to Sam's and Walmart for last minute Christmas dinner stuff. I was shocked by their emptiness. Fewer people than a normal Saturday. On the island we have noticed that none of the businesses that normally give out little gifts to the regular customers are doing so this year. And very few of the bars/restaurants have bothered to even decorate. The economy, without question, is suffering over here. That said, nice pics of the mall. I was there when it first opened and there were only about 6 stores open. Might give it another try.
CancunCanuck said…
Manolo- I'm curious about how things are looking in Toronto, is Yorkdale a zoo? ;-) I must say I miss the beautiful (tackyish) displays the malls set up in Canada, whole winter wonderlands of Santas, much bigger deal there than here. Glad to hear your last visit showed a healthy economy in Guatemala!

Wayne- Plaza las Americas was the busiest mall I've seen, but as you say, lots of empty hands. Hopefully we'll see the tourist season pick up soon and put some food on some tables around here.
Melissa said…
It'd be interesting to compare how many empty hands one sees in El Crucero to in the malls. Most of the poorer people I know consider Plaza las Americas, et al as places to browse and people-watch, not to buy.

But the Crucero is usually kicking around this time, and just before El Dia del Niño!

Good to hear that the economy is healthy in Guatemala!
JJ said…
Arg, Christmas shopping. Though it has always been my method to stay as far away from the mall and Target in December as possible, I have ventured to my local mall this last week. Empty. Perhaps everyone else was just prepared this year. And really I haven't noticed a ton of people in any of the other traditional shopping places here in Beaverton.

I do remember Christmas season 2004 (in Cancun) - Walmarts was a FLIPPING ZOO and I NEEDED to be there to buy stuff for my apartment. Awful. Sad to know that really isn't so much the case this year. I promise to spend a bunch of money on cocktails in February and tip the crap out of everyone...

And Max is one cool cat.
CancunCanuck said…
JJ- When are you coming? Are you staying at the VCI or with friends? My whole fam damily will be here Feb. 2 and will be at one of the Royals (not sure which yet, though I suspect the VCI). Would be great to see you and share a couple of cold ones! Merry merry to you.
CancunCanuck said…
Melly- I don't think I'll be going to the Crucero to check things out, I don't like that hood on the best of days! Felices fiestas chica, miss you mucho! I've been thinking about how nice it was to share Xmas with you and homeboy last year. Big hugs to you both.
JJ said…
I'm actually staying on Isla Mujeres at the Nautibeach condos, but it is my intention to ferry on over to Ave Yaxchilan for some festivities. I have had my fill of the zh for now, but I might be convinced to go maybe once... I miss the VCI so much! I will be there 2 Feb to 9 Feb, perhaps your familia might put us on the list ~ (if it's VCI then no need, they all know me there anyway and let me in when I want...). Yay!
Erica said…
Awww the hooters girl is checking out Max !!! LOL what a cutie!
Manolo said…
Just a lil' report on the malls: I am planning on hitting Yorkdale tomorrow for day 2 of Boxing Week (yes the whole week...), I went about a week ago and they had this nice-interesting-tacky Christmas light show where the lights on the ceiling changed to the rhythm of the Transiberian Light Orchestra's Christmas classic. Today I went to Dufferin mall which just fascinates me by the mix of people and stores and for being so south of the 401 for such a place. I posted a pic of the Eaton Centre's tree on my blog, under the Blanca Navidad posting. It looked pretty cool.
CarmenDeBizet said…
First, I need to re-introduce myself. I came to "visit" you a while back for your post regarding La Virgen de Guadalupe (Dec. 12th). Manolo (El Torenteco) recommended your post. Okay, now I can move on. I have wanted to come back and visit your blog. I like your sense of humor in sticky stituations, like the whole buying a car in Mexico thing. I was laughing my head off about the whole Fabuloso fiasco with la muchacha. Okay, I know I am talking about different posts here, but I hope I make some sense. Here, in this post, the picture of the Hooter girls brought to mind an ad I saw in La Antigua Guatemala. The ad detailed every night at Hooters as something "special", each with its own theme. One that caught my attention was "Family Night"..."cuando los ni~nos comen gratis."

Feliz A~no Nuevo!

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