Saks Off 5th in downtown Minneapolis will close Saturday, Jan. 17, according to Tiffany Bourre, external communications director for Hudson's Bay Company, which owns Saks.

With storewide discounts of 70 percent off everything for the past week (except art), the remaining merchandise has been consolidated on the second floor with art and store fixtures on the third floor. I was shocked at how many men's suits have sold. A week ago there were hundreds left in a wide size range. On Monday there were fewer than 75 left.

Bourre wrote in an email that there may be additional discounts but did not confirm if they would start this week. A store employee said that new markdowns are announced in the morning with no advance notice.

Saks outlet shoppers in the Twin Cities can still patronize the Off 5th that opened last August in the Eagan Outlet mall, Twin Cities Premium Outlets. They can also hold out hope that Saks may open another outlet in Minneapolis down the road. Nothing is signed but Bourre wrote, "We are actively looking for additional locations in the Minneapolis market, including downtown."

Rumors have circulated that Saks and another high-fashion retailer may be interested opening outlet stores  in City Center in the former Office Depot space on a corner at S. 7th St. and Nicollet Mall.

About 50 employees will lose their jobs as a result of the closing. There is no word on whether any of those employees will be able to transfer to the Eagan store.

Bargain hunters can still find plenty to woo them to the outlet, except for much of the art for sale on the 3rd floor. At 50 percent off, it's not moving as fast. On Monday I inquired about two unpriced contemporary glass pieces hanging on opposite walls in the escalator bank. "You'd have to find a way to remove them yourself," said an employee. "You'll probably need to rent scaffolding."

I didn't bother to ask the price.