St. Paul Macy's cutting hoursby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Macy's downtown St. Paul store is cutting back its hours and tweaking its merchandise offerings.
The retailer will close Mondays through Saturdays at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., and will be closed all day on Sundays except during the holiday season.
The retailer says it will ramp up staffing during peak shopping times over lunch and in the early evening to accommodate office workers in downtown St. Paul. It's also expanding merchandise offerings geared to office workers. The changes will all be implemented by the end of June.
Cindy Eliason, vice president of Macy's Minneapolis East district, said the changes at the St. Paul Macy's aim to better serve downtown office workers, the store's primary customers. Eliason said Macy's will beef staffing for higher traffic periods.
We really see this as a reinvestment of staffing and our way of being able to respond to what that customer has asked for," Eliason said. "We think we'll even be in a position to even be hiring additional associates to meet those needs."
Eliason says there won't be layoffs or reductions in current staff hours due to the changes. Macy's says the moves are not a precursor to closing the store.
Joe Campbell, communications director with the city of St. Paul, said the changes do not appear to presage the retailer's departure.
"They feel they are going to be able to better assist the customers they have in their store by rethinking their plans this way," Campbell said. "I've been asked before what we plan to see in the Macy's location in a year, and the answer then and the answer now is that we plan to see Macy's in that location."
The city of St. Paul gave Macy's a forgivable loan whose restrictions expire at the end of this year. At that point, the retailer will be free to leave the St. Paul space without paying back the loan.