Canadian exchange rate affecting shoppers

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Canadians heading over the border to spend their cash is great for Western New York; the more they spend, the more sales tax revenue they generate.

They continue to come because for them it’s a getaway that pays off.

Laura Cordell of Woodstock, Ontario said, “Things are cheaper and there’s lots of variety.”

“You get brands you can’t get elsewhere and you’re outlets are much better than ours,” said Kelly from Burlington, Ontario.

However, the exchange rate isn’t in Canada’s favor right now. It’s just 90 Canadian cents to the U.S. dollar. The unfavorable exchange rate has some making fewer, more strategic trips.

Cordell said, “If we’re over here we do fill up with gas because again it’s a lot cheaper but we wouldn’t come just for that.”

Some stay home when they don’t get as much bang for their buck.

Shelley Leduke of Burlington, Ontario said, “One time in the 80s when it was 60 cents on the dollar, it was a tough sell.”

Traffic on the Peace Bridge is a good indicator. Checking the numbers just over the last 10 years, the worst exchange rate for Canadians has been 77 cents to the U.S. dollar, while the best was $1.09. As the rate went up and down, so did traffic into the U.S.

But at $.90 to the U.S. dollar, the Canadians are still coming; die-hard shoppers say they’re just doing their homework first.

“If you know your prices where you’re from and you come to the states, it’s a better deal,” said Kelly.

The Fashion Outlets in Niagara Falls didn’t have updated data on the number of shoppers they’re seeing from Canada, but the mall is moving forward with a $71 million expansion project.

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