The end has begun at Macy’s downtown Minneapolis store. On the heels of the retailer’s announcement last week that one of its largest, oldest and most storied flagship buildings has been sold to a New York firm—part of a mass wave of 68 store closures nationwide—preparations are already underway for the liquidation, which begins Monday (Jan. 9). Signs posted throughout the store warn that as of Jan. 9, all sales are final. There are clearance signs in every department (but then, hasn’t that long been the case for Macy’s?). Of course, there are so many reasons it’s come to this—including many beyond Macy’s control. But walking through the store on Friday, past empty shelves and neglected restrooms and heaps of sweaters spilling off tables, it's tough not to think of Macy’s as that reckless kid who rents the big old historic home, and then trashes it.
The biggest crowd on Friday afternoon seemed to be gathered in the 12th floor Archive with photos and memorabilia paying tribute to the company’s rich history—Dayton’s, Hudson’s, Marshall Field’s, Macy's. Legendary retail dynasties. More than a century in the department store business, creating commerce and community, establishing traditions that our a huge part of our collective cultural history. Emphasis on history. That's why the Oak Grill, the last surviving tradition and one of the Twin Cities' oldest restaurants, is currently one of the hottest lunch reservations in town.
So here’s how it ends:
- The Oak Grill will be open through Jan. 27, Monday through Saturday for lunch only, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations are being accepted through OpenTable. The Skyroom and Signature Kitchen will also close on Jan. 27.
- The liquidation sale begins Monday, Jan. 9 and will run for 8 to 12 weeks. As of Monday, all sales at the Minneapolis store are final. As for the deals, there are tons: still some designer merchandise in the Oval Room, tons of winter coats, apparel and home good—especially if you're willing to dig.
- Returns will be accepted through Feb. 5 with proof of purchase for merchandise sold prior to Jan. 9. There will be no price adjustments on prior purchases.
- Some leased departments that plan to transfer merchandise rather than liquidating will close before the final sale begins. BCBG, Sunglass Hut, Thomas Pink and Barbara’s Books are not part of the liquidation. The longtime shoe repair service in the basement of the store is closing with Macy's and the owner says he does not plan to pursue a new location.
- The spring flower show, a tradition at the department store for more than 50 years, will also die with the store. Bachman’s confirmed Friday that it is not looking for an alternate location. Said Dale Bachman, “We will remember our flower show experiences fondly.”
- Archive photos and items of historic significance (that Dayton's nameplate in the elevator!) will not be liquidated. A Macy's spokeswoman says the retailer has not yet determined where that memorabilia will go.
- Like salt in the wound: Barnes & Noble is also closing its Nicollet Mall store this spring. The same week that Macy's announced it had sold 700 Nicollet Mall, the bookstore decided not to renew its downtown lease.