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An inside look at top retailers and the consumers they covet

How good are the deals at Macy's closing sale downtown Mpls?

Macy's in downtown Minneapolis opened its doors Monday with nearly everything 20 to 40 percent off. For a retailer known for piling on discounts with percentages off, coupons on top of that, and an additional amount off on a Macy's charge, it was no bargain bonanza.

"The first day of the sale is not the best time to shop," said Nick Karos of Edina. He was looking for a travel bag for his daughter. The selection from Solo and Tumi was 40 percent off, but in a quick check on his smartphone, the Solo piece was $20 less on Amazon. "I'm an Amazon Prime member so I could have it by tomorrow," he said.

Some items were discounted more than 40 percent, including items on permanent clearance. The Last Act clearance sections on each floor did not get any additional markdowns on Monday, but they are still on clearance. Hugo Boss men's suits were discounted 50 percent, but so were many other suits, including some novelty sportcoats already being clearanced out at 75 percent off or more last week.

Many items marked 20-40 percent off may be lower-priced at a Macy's not going-out-of-business. Last week in the downtown store, Martha Stewart 300 thread count sheets were 50% off plus an additional 15% off with a Macy's charge. Now they're 40% off at the liquidation. Exceptions may be designer merch that rarely goes on sale such as Theory in men's and women's departments. As for the Oval Room, most of items were already on clearance last week. St. John Knits fans, check it out.

Merchandise from leased departments will be removed rather than discounted. Sunglass Hut on the second floor is already empty. Cosmetics and fragrances will slowly empty out by early March, one sales rep said. The men's Pink department, the beauty salon and Starbucks are also leased. Starbucks plans to close Jan. 27 along with the other restaurants such as the Oak Grill, Skyroom and the deli in Marketplace.

All sales are final at the downtown store, but items purchased downtown before Jan. 9 can be returned through Feb. 5. Items purchase before the closing sale started cannot be returned for price adjustments. Coupons are no longer accepted in the Minneapolis store and no prices will be matched if the item is less at another Macy's or Macys.com.

FYI, when shopping at a Macy's that is not closing, ask the sales rep to see if the item is less online or if you use a Macy's charge. People who never bring Macy's coupons can also ask if there is an extra one that can be applied.

Looking for the rugs and furniture that Macy's quit selling years ago to show up at the liquidation? I didn't see any yet, but as things clear out, they may fill in the holes.

"The Bodyguard" musical tickets for $25 through noon Monday

Want to hear the  "I Will Always Love You" sung live in a note-perfect version by Deborah Cox? She sings a Whitney Houston-inspired version in the musical based on "The Bodyguard" movie from the 1990s with Houston and Kevin Costner.

Ticket prices for "The Bodyguard" showing Tuesday, Jan. 10-15 normally run $39 to $134 plus fees, but through noon today (Jan. 9), tickets are available for $25 each via a lottery system.

Those interested can enter only once and each person can get one or two tickets.All performances are available, but theater goers must select a date when registering for the lottery (which takes about one minute).

Lottery players will be notified by mail if they win by 1 p.m. Tuesday and they must make an online purchase by credit card by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Go here to register.

Here's the musical's description from Hennepin Theater Trust's website:

"Grammy Award-nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox will belt out the tunes in The Bodyguard which launches its U.S. National Tour next year January 10-15, 2017 at the Orpheum Theatre. Based on the smash hit film, the romantic thriller features the irresistible classics including “Saving All My Love,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and one of the biggest selling songs of all time, “I Will Always Love You.”

Former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love.

A breathtakingly romantic thriller based on Lawrence Kasdan’s Oscar-nominated film and adapted by Academy Award-winner Alexander Dinelaris, The Bodyguard had its world premiere in London’s West End where it was nominated for four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and won Best New Musical at the Whatsonstage Awards."