After 93 years, the Bracker’s Department Store in downtown Nogales, Arizona closed its doors. Owners blamed a steady decrease in the number of Mexican shoppers crossing the border amid long wait times at the border.
His department store joins a string of border businesses that have called it quits over the past decade. Like thousands of businesses along the U.S.-Mexico border, Bracker’s bottom line was highly dependent on Mexican shoppers.
But rising wait times and chronic staff shortages at the international border crossings are increasingly keeping would-be customers away. Since 2009, when the federal government strengthened passport controls, the number of pedestrians crossing through downtown Nogales — Bracker’s customers — has dropped by half.