Over the past year, rumors have swirled that Macy’s downtown Minneapolis flagship store would close. Today, Twin Cities Business Magazine confirmed that Macy’s Inc. informed the City of Minneapolis and key downtown stakeholders that it intends to close its Nicollet Mall store in 2017, and that it has no plans to maintain a retail presence in downtown.
The news is hardly surprising to anyone who’s visited the retailer over the past few years. In 2015, it discontinued its long-running Glamorama fashion show. Floors 6 to 11 of the former Dayton’s department store, once filled with buyers and management as well as furniture and electronics departments, have been empty for years, and attempts to lease that space have failed. The store has long been desperately in need of cosmetic updates. Then in September, the company unveiled a list of 150 stores it planned to upgrade—and Macy’s Nicollet Mall location was conspicuously absent from the list, which included Macy’s Mall of America, Southdale, and Ridgedale stores.
Macy’s flagship was originally home to a dry goods business, R.S. Goodfellow & Company, then the fourth-largest department store in Minneapolis. The six-story building was constructed by George Draper Dayton, Dayton’s founder, in 1902. Goodfellow’s owner retired shortly thereafter, selling his interest to Dayton, who partnered with George Loudon and J.B. Mosher for financing. By 1903, Dayton had bought out both partners and renamed the store Dayton’s Dry Goods Company. In 1911, the name was changed to the Dayton Company. In 1969, the Detroit-based J.L. Hudson Company merged with the Dayton Company to form the Dayton-Hudson Corporation, adding 21 Michigan-based stores to the total. In 1990, the department store division of Dayton–Hudson (now Target Corporation) acquired Chicago-based Marshall Field’s. Both Dayton’s and Hudson’s retained their individual store names until 2001, when they were united under the Marshall Field’s nameplate. Target Corp. sold its department store holdings to St. Louis-based May Department Stores in 2004, and May rebranded as Macy’s a year later in a massive consolidation of American department stores under the Macy’s brand.
There’s no word yet on what will come of the six-story building on 7th and Nicollet. But in the meantime, be sure to make one last swing through Macy’s annual holiday display and bask in the nostalgia.