While we may be cutting back, overseas visitors are finding good deals.
A group of English tourists on a bus tour of the Western United States stopped at the Tulare Outlet Mall and described their visit. Joseph Brown says simply, "It's quite cheap really, quite cheap."
Cheap because the value of the U.S. Dollar compared to the British Pound has dropped dramatically.
Marion Delaney says, "It's a good time to come because a while ago we were getting two dollars to the pound."
In 2002 a British Pound was worth about a dollar forty. These English visitors are enjoying the difference. Pam Joughin says, "Yes, very good, that lady there's just bought a skirt for a quarter of the price she would have paid in England."
These bargain hunters are of course welcome at the Outlet Mall. Marketing Director Patty Rocha says, "We're seeing a definite increase in our international visitors, into the shopping center, primarily on the tour busses. Coming in this year, they're coming in earlier this year. It has definitely increased our traffic and sales here at the center."
The folks from England say the merchandise is a bargain, and so is the food.
Marion Delaney says, "We're eating very well and we're eating very cheaply compared with England.
Of course everything isn't rosy in England. Gasoline or Petrol is up to more than nine dollars a gallon.
How do folks in England cope? Tommy Gibson puts it this way. "Smaller cars, I don't use the car very often. I use it for going to golf courses; I only drive when I'm going to play golf."
Shopping in Tulare isn't the highlight of the trip, just a short stop on a two week bus tour of the West. The tourists are on their way to Yosemite. Their trip ends with two days in San Francisco, where they plan to do a lot more shopping.