The Big Story Blog

Can retail survive in Saint Paul?

Posted at 2:38 PM on November 28, 2011 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Economic Development, Economy

As we report on the Black Friday bonanza at the Mall of America, MPR News blogger Bob Collins this afternoon looks at the practical problems of keeping traditional retail in downtown St. Paul -- specifically, the Macy's store. Collins writes:

The Pioneer Press reports today that store executives say the store is making money, which is hard to believe given how few people seem to shop there. Still, it's hard to find people who think the store will remain open after its obligation to do so expires at the end of next year.

"I think the handwriting is pretty much on the wall for the St. Paul store," David Brennan, co-director of the Institute for Retailing Excellence at the University of St. Thomas, told the newspaper.

Macy's has to stay open until next December in order to satisfy the terms of a city subsidy in 2001 to revamp what was then Dayton's. Many people think it's the only reason the store is still open at all. Light-rail construction has made it impossible to drive near the area, even if people wanted to, which they clearly don't.

That analysis is likely right on. Overall, it hasn't been a fabulous decade for Macy's.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.

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