For years, the future of the St. Paul Macy's store has seemed unclear.

Earlier this year, my esteemed colleague Rochelle Olson wrote that a key deadline for the store at 411 Cedar St. will come at the end of the year. As of Dec. 31, the department store will be free from a looming financial obligation to the city and may leave at any time.

On Wednesday announced several changes to "better serve the downtown customer." Macy's estimates that there are 75,000 downtown busienss workers and residents in St. Paul.

The biggest change is that the St. Paul Macy's will no longer be open on Sundays, and it will close at 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. That's an hour earlier than the current schedule. Holiday hours may vary.

In terms of merchandise, Macy's said it was boosting "the dressing needs of nearby office workers" by expanding the women's career collections, shoes, hosiery, handbags, as well as men's business collections, shoes and basics. A larger selection of watches, luggage, briefcases and gifts will be available, as well.

Macy's spokeswoman Andrea Schwartz said staffing levels will increase with 12 more employees during high-traffic hours from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Currently, the store employs 137 people.

The changes are expected to be completed by the end of June.

Janet Moore is a business reporter for the Star Tribune. 


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