Early this year, Macy's Inc. announced that it would spend $200 million to upgrade 50 stores across the country, including Mall of America. Now the refresh of the MOA store is nearly complete. On Saturday, the department store will celebrate with a grand opening. 

Stores selected as Growth50 each received about $3 million or more for the upgrades, according to Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette. The Bloomington store received new LED lighting, new carpeting and tile, renovated fitting rooms, and remodeled restrooms. All 50 stores received a new coffee shop or restaurant such as a Starbucks or a Macy's Tastebar but since the mall has so many coffee shops already, the MOA Macy's will get a Potbelly restaurant that will open mid-December on the third floor. 

Michelle Squires, vice-president and Mall of America store manager, said the company took into account local customers' wishes for the refresh. As a result the kids department moved to the first floor to make it more accessible and kids shoes were added. 

"Customers have really responded to the changes," Squires said. "They like the longer weekend hours and the overall aesthetics of the store. It's brighter and lighter."

Mall of America is the only local Macy's to stay open until 8 p.m. on Sundays, unlike other Twin Cities' Macy's that close at 7 p.m. Sundays. It also added several departments. Besides kids shoes, a furniture and mattress department opens Saturday with a new virtual reality feature. Shoppers can bring their room dimensions and see how different pieces will fit within their existing space. 

At Your Service on the first floor near handbags is a dedicated location for online order pickup and return. A personal shopper department called My Stylist offers the free service on the second floor near Outdoor Active. 

Expanded departments include dresses, activewear and cosmetics. Like Nordstrom and Von Maur, some cosmetics cases have been replaced with open sell display instead of products behind glass. New vendors have been added in various departments including Radley London handbags, DKNY, Barbour for men, and Yves St. Laurent and Mario Badescu in cosmetics. 

 

Grand opening activities Saturday include writing letters to Santa at the Believe stations, arts and crafts, face painting for kids, and gift card giveways.

 

On Wednesday Macy's announced an expansion to its Growth50 program in its earnings call. One hundred more stores will get upgrades in 2019. Locations have not been announced. Gennette said in the earnings call earlier this week that the Growth50 stores are performing ahead of their peer stores. 

  

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