Darting in and out through the jam of cars at the U.S. border, shopkeeper Christen Haines wasnt sure what reaction shed get from the horde of drivers squeezing over the line to empty their credit cards.
The masses were being drawn into the States last Friday to take advantage of the new cross-border shopping rules, which more than doubled what people can bring back into Canada.
Haines, however who runs the Kid Supply consignment clothing store in Steveston said it was pure coincidence she and her staff were on the scene that day, dressed in their finery and handing out flyers encouraging drivers to shop local.
We didnt quite intend to do it on the same day; we had been planning this since February and were just waiting on a good weather day to do it, said Haines, who was stunned by the TV coverage her stunt received.
One person at the border said, you cant beat the price Im going to get in the States. They were going for a bridal gown and were going to spend a few hundred bucks.
I have three new bridal gowns in the store for $75 each. But they wouldnt know because they hadnt bothered to check.
Haines said shes been inundated with phone calls and random hugs from people since she tore it up at the border.
Although business picked up significantly on Wednesday, shes not sure if the flyers and media coverage are the cause.
Ive no problem with people going south to shop, but just not exclusively, said Haines, who employs three part-time assistants in her store, which sells kids and adults clothing, both used and new.
The new cross-border shopping rules allow Canadians to buy up to $200 after an overnight trip, four times the previous amount.
The limit has doubled from $400 to $800 for people on a jaunt of between two and seven days, while the limit for those gone for more than a week increases from $750 to $800.
Before the rules changed, there were still a lot of people that manipulated the system, so you have to wonder how much they will now spend, said Haines.
Global TV turned Haines border stunt into a protest story, according to Haines. It wasnt a protest, we just wanted to give people a shake and get them to at least think about us before going over the line.
There are so many great deals in our shop, but people dont even bother looking.
Rubbing salt into the wound, Haines said former customers she hasnt seen for years have waltzed into her store, mention they do all their shopping cross-border and then ask for sponsorship for their kids sports team.
Im not a vengeful or spiteful person, but I have a hard time not saying, Are you kiddin me? said Haines.
If they scratched my back, I might just scratch theirs once in a while. Im not sure if some people can connect the dots when it comes to these things.
Another person, who shops over the border, came in after a long absence and remarked that her neighbour doesnt seem to work in the store anymore.
I thought to myself, Target doesnt employ people here.
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