Macy’s confirmed Thursday that it plans to close its longstanding department store in downtown St. Paul this spring, and the company also announced plans to consolidate its two stores at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka.
News reports citing unnamed sources surfaced Wednesday, indicating that Cincinnati-based Macy's would close its St. Paul location. Macy’s announced early Thursday that it will close five Macy’s locations early this spring; in addition to St. Paul, stores will be shuttered in Pasadena, California; Belmont, Massachusetts; Honolulu; and Houston. The company will also close a Bloomingdale’s home furnishings store in Las Vegas.
The closure of Macy’s, located at 411 Cedar Street, will leave downtown St. Paul without a major department store for the first time in 130 years, according to the Pioneer Press. According to the Macy’s announcement, the 362,000-square-foot store employs 153 sales associates. Macy’s said in a statement that it is “committed to treating associates affected by store closings with respect and openness.” Some workers may be offered positions in nearby stores, and eligible laid-off employees will be offered severance benefits.
Final clearance sales at the soon-to-be-closed Macy’s locations will begin on Monday and run for between seven and 11 weeks, the company said.
There has been speculation this year regarding whether the St. Paul store would close. Macy’s was previously under a 10-year financial obligation to the city, and if it shuttered the store during that period, the company would have reportedly risked having to pay back a $6.3 million loan with interest that St. Paul made to then-owner Target Corporation in 2001, according to the Star Tribune. That obligation concluded at the end of 2012, and the loan has now been forgiven, according to the Minneapolis newspaper.
The City of St. Paul said that its Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED) has begun to consider reuses for the soon-to-be-vacated site. “We are confident that the development community will recognize the potential of this site, and we’re looking forward to working with Macy’s to ensure a quick and efficient sale and reuse,” PED Director Cecile Bedor said in a statement.
In addition to announcing the St. Paul store closure, Macy’s said that it will consolidate its two separate locations at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka into one expanded location beginning in early 2014. The current 202,000-square-foot Macy’s main store will be expanded by roughly 84,000 square feet, with construction beginning in June 2013. When that project is completed in early 2014, the men’s and home businesses currently housed in a separate 129,000-square-foot store will move into the main Macy’s store, the company said.
Macy’s continues to operate other Minnesota locations, including one in downtown Minneapolis.
News of the St. Paul closure follows the shuttering of several other major retail outlets in the Twin Cities. Last year, Macy’s announced plans to close several of its underperforming stores nationwide, including the Bloomingdale’s location at the Mall of America. Neiman Marcus, meanwhile, is set to close its Minneapolis location at the end of this month.
A feature story in the December issue of Twin Cities Business delves into the history of luxury retailers in the Twin Cities, including several now-closed department stores, and asks why such retailers struggle here. To read the story, click here.