MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s officially over, the end of a 115-year legacy. Macy’s in Downtown Minneapolis is closing.
It was first a Dayton’s, then Marshall Fields and most recently, a Macy’s. For the first time since 1902, there won’t be a department store in the Nicollet Mall building.
Macy’s sold the property to an investment firm.
Some Minnesotans are taking it personally. Rose Smith goes on her lunch break regularly to the Macy’s.
“I love the food downstairs, I love eating up on the 12th floor. I mean I’m going to miss this place, I really am,” Smith said.
Our camera wasn’t the only one capturing the emotion of the day. Tom Michaels had his going too.
“Worked here when I was 16 years old, down in hanging department, this place was it. Everybody came down here to buy their clothes, do their shopping to meet people, it was great and now it’s gone, it’s absolutely gone,” Michaels said.
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Karen Anderson felt the heaviness of the moment, too.
“My mother worked here for 42 years so I’m just seeing it for the last time,” Anderson said.
She says she feels close to her mother at the store.
“I used to come down here as a young teenager, used to go shopping, wait for my mom to get off work. We had a great time, always shopped here, always had a good time,” she said.
And in the final hours of business, there wasn’t much more than memories to enjoy.
“Inside it’s just empty, it’s cavernous. There’s nothing left but displays,” Michaels said.
There may not be anything left to take, but there’s still a whole lot to hold on to. “Everybody is feeling a since of loss, very emotional. It’s like you’ve lost that little puppy that you’re never gonna get back again,” Michaels said.
A Macy’s representative said the workers who will lose their jobs due to the closures will be offered severance benefits. Macy’s officials say 230 associates worked at the downtown Minneapolis location. The employees who wanted to stay with Macy’s were successfully placed at other Twin Cities stores.
Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, released a statement Sunday on the sale of the building and the store closing.
“The news that Macy’s is closing its Minneapolis store is not surprising in the light of changes affecting downtown retailing across the nation. For many years the former Dayton’s building has been an underutilized asset at the center of our business district, with hundreds of thousands of vacant square feet. With the sale of the building to an experienced, well capitalized developer with urban retail experience – 601 W Companies – we have an opportunity to revitalize this iconic structure in the heart of downtown. Combined with the soon to be completed new Nicollet Mall, continued growth of our residential population, and the in-migration of businesses from across the region, a revitalized Dayton’s building will add to the positive momentum downtown is experiencing. I look forward to meeting with 601 W Companies and City officials early next week to begin discussing plans for a new future for an old building that holds a warm spot in the hearts of people throughout Minnesota,” the statement reads.