The Gap will soon be a gap at the IDS Center.
The retailer, which has been a fixture in downtown Minneapolis at Nicollet Mall and 7th St. for 21 years, will close at the end of the month.
The San Francisco-based company notified the IDS Center about two weeks ago that it will be shuttering that Gap and GapKids store as part of a wave of store closures.
Last month, Gap executives said they would close 175 stores, or about a quarter of their North American stores, in an effort to revive the struggling brand, which has been in a slump as shoppers gravitated more to fast fashion purveyors such as H&M and Zara.
Store employees told customers on Monday that the store will close July 26. Gap has several other stores around the Twin Cities that will remain open. The company did not respond to a request for comment.
The 14,200-square foot store has a prime location with entrances both from the IDS' Crystal Court as well as directly outside to Nicollet Mall. It's across the street from the Macy's department store that is the biggest retailer in downtown Minneapolis.
A Banana Republic store, which is also owned by Gap, is expected to stay at IDS Center. Andrea Christenson, a vice president for DTZ who handles retail leasing at IDS, said that store does quite well amid the downtown corporate crowd.
"I think Banana is a better fit for here," she said. "It has a lot more work clothes and a little bit higher price points."
For the soon-to-be-vacant Gap store, she said she's already received interest in the space from possible tenants. She hopes to fill it with another apparel store or another type of soft goods store that sells shoes or jewelry.
The other retailers in the IDS, such as Hubert White's men store, Starbucks, One Two Three Sushi, and the Yogurt Lab all do strong sales, she added. And with the growth of downtown residents and other new retail coming to the area, she expects the Gap location to be sought after.
"We feel it's by far the best corner in downtown," she said, noting that tourists and conventions-goers often walk by that area. It's also in a heavily-trafficked area among downtown workers.
Across the street, a 22,000-square-foot Sports Authority is expected to open this fall on the ground floor of the City Center. It will be joined in April 2016 by a Saks Off Fifth outlet, which is slated to open in April 2016. Meanwhile, Saks' former space in nearby Gaviidae Common is being replaced with a Walgreens.
On Monday afternoon, the Gap and GapKids store bustled with shoppers looking for a deal. The store offered 50-percent-off on some already-discounted items, but not everything was on sale yet. The GapKids side of the store had already been mostly cleared out and one of the interior entrances was already closed.
The signs in the window didn't indicate the store was closing. Instead, one sign said, "Don't miss this sale. Stock up -- it's now or never."
One of those shoppers who are sad to see the store go is Ashley Burbul, who works nearby and often stopped in during her lunch break.
"This Gap has been here forever," she said. "We don't have anything else downtown like it. This is going to sting."
She liked how quick and efficient it was run in and shop the store. She finds Macy's and Marshalls to be overwhelming to shop in comparison, especially when she's pressed for time.