MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Target announced it will not require employees to work full-time inside headquarters offices in downtown Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park and Eagan.

On Tuesday, a Target spokesperson issued a statement, saying the company has “designed the future” of work at corporate headquarters to be hybrid, combining onsite and virtual work for better flexibility.

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“While we won’t ask team members to be in the office with a set schedule or percentage of time, we know our physical offices will play an important role in how we work moving forward,” the spokesperson said.

The company will be continuing to test new ways of working during the spring to develop more consistent hybrid work routines, according to the spokesperson.

Target is the largest employer in Minneapolis, with 8,500 corporate workers. Steve Cramer, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, says the company has made no indication that they will be downsizing any more office space in the future. He acknowledges there will be less foot traffic, and that will have an impact.

“It’s just a new time in terms of how the work week will work for employees, so it wasn’t hugely surprising,” Cramer said. “There will be some shakeout restaurants that can’t open again, that change their hours to match what the market condition is like downtown.”

Cramer says there will be a better picture in the fall of what downtown may look like in any given week. That could be a blueprint for plans going forward to help downtown find a new normal.

“The office worker component is a critical part of the downtown economy, but it’s not the only part,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

The skyways along Nicollet Mall downtown are busier than they were just a few months ago. But for the lunch hour, it’s more quiet compared to before the pandemic. Emanuel Sas owns Come Pho Soup.

“We’re getting by. Small footprint, but bigger restaurants will be struggling a lot more,” Sas said. “It’s a little bit scary. It’s been a rough two years, rough to see how it plays out.”

In May 2021, Target announced it was downsizing its Minneapolis office space by moving out of City Center, a move that reduced its downtown footprint by one-third.

At the time, Target said the post-pandemic hybrid model requires less office space. The 3,500 employees who worked at that location were relocated to another Minneapolis location or Brooklyn Park. There were no layoffs due to the move.

Ameriprise, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, and the City of Minneapolis have brought workers back to downtown in hybrid work settings. Thrivent started its hybrid format this month.

Hospitality Minnesota said many businesses rely on foot traffic, and it is committed to rebuilding a vibrant downtown.

Kate Raddatz