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Twin Citian

Downtown Minneapolis Retail

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I thought I would dedicate a thread to downtown Minneapolis retail (past, present, and, future).  


The downtown Minneapolis retail scene has experienced several ups and downs over the years. Large department stores and locally owned specialty retailers dominated Nicollet Avenue for several years.  Once Southdale Center (the nation’s first enclosed shopping mall) opened in Edina, many shoppers no longer found it necessary to head downtown to shop. 


As automobile ownership grew so did the suburbs as well as the demand for shopping malls.  In order to keep up, Nicollet Avenue underwent a conversion in the late 60s that turned an 11-block stretch into the nation’s first transit mall.  The transition worked and by the mid-80s there was over 3.5 million sf of retail space centered around Nicollet Mall and within four, large retail centers including the Conservatory, City Center, Gavidae Common, and Gaviidae Common II.


Things changed drastically in the early 90s when the Mall of America opened and became THE destination shopping center for not only shoppers within the Twin Cities area but the upper-Midwest.

At the same time the nearby Uptown neighborhood started shifting from a predominantly blue-collar area to a more trendy retail destination.  By late the late 00s there were roughly 90 retail establishments within the traditional downtown Minneapolis shopping area – down from 180 in the late 90s.


Retail in downtown Minneapolis is evolving and most importantly, rebounding.  The department store experiment is over and currently, boutiques as well as smaller, national retailers are opening.  Things can only get better now that downtown employment is at roughly 165,000 and the population is nearing 40,000.


Here is a list of former and current stores within the downtown Minneapolis.  I will update both lists as I’m sure I forgot a few.  I will also update with retail-related news and photos.


Former Stores

Ann Taylor

Badiner Jewelers


Borders Bookstore (defunct)

Brentano's Bookstore


Carson Pirie Scott


Cole Haan

Crate and Barrel

Donaldson’s (defunct department store)

Franklin Covey 


Harold (defunct)

J.C. Penney

Kuhlman & Co.

Laura Ashley

Mark Shale

Montgomery Ward (defunct department store)

Neiman Marcus

Pierre Dieux


Powers Dry Goods (defunct department store)

Room and Board 

Saks Fifth Avenue


Sharper Image


T.J. Maxx



Young Quinlan


Current Retail


Department Stores





Women’s & Men’s Apparel

Sak's Fifth Avenue OFF 5th (relocating elsewhere within downtown)

Banana Republic


Brooks Brothers

I’ve Got Your Style

To Soho




Women’s Apparel



C'est Chic Boutique


Roe Wolfe

Grethen House North


Men’s Apparel

Hubert White

Elsworth Menswear

Marty Mathis Clothiers

Men’s Wearhouse and Tux


JoS. A. Bank

Askov Finlayson

Allen Edmonds



Gap Kids



Shoe Stores

Foot Locker


Grocery Stores


Whole Foods


Home Goods

The Foundry 

ID Inside Design 


Designer Marketplace 







JB Hudson Jewelers

R.F. Moeller Jeweler

Stephen Vincent Design

Lowell Lundeen Jewelry



Solomon Optical




CVS Pharmacy (two)

Dahl Pharmacy





Books & Magazines

Open Book

Mead Hall Games & Comics

Barnes & Noble Booksellers

Big Brain Comics

Lickety Split


Wine & Spirits


North Loop 

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Three stores have announced that they will be opening in downtown Minneapolis


Chrome Industries will be opening its sixth US store in downtown.  Chrome also has stores in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Portland and Seattle


Atmosfere - men's clothing store


Wilson & Willy’s

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It has been confirmed that Walgreens is opening an upscale store in the space Saks Off Fifth is currently occupying.  Saks will be moving to City Center and opening in 2016.

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The Sports Authority, one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the US, has announced that it is opening a 22,000 sq. ft. store on the corner of Nicollet Mall and Seventh Street.  The store will be located in City Center, across from the relocated Saks Off 5th.

Edited by Twin Citian

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Kit and Ace is opening a store in downtown Minneapolis in June.  There are currently locations in New York City, San Francisco, and 5 Canadian cities.

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According to the MPLS - STPL Business Journal, Nordstrom Rack is looking for space in downtown Minneapolis.  

Edited by Twin Citian

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