Staff Directory 6370611

Nicole Norfleet

Retail Reporter | Retail
Phone: 612-673-4495

Nicole Norfleet covers the fast-paced retail scene including industry giants Target and Best Buy. She previously covered commercial real estate and professional services.

Norfleet joined the Star Tribune's business team in the winter of 2015 after working as the St. Paul public safety reporter and holding various other metro assignments. She is originally from the East Coast, but now calls the East Side of St. Paul home. Norfleet and her partner Liz have one tabby son named Max and enjoy craft beer, Korean dramas and camping with family. She is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Recent content from Nicole Norfleet
A woman shops in a Target store in Upper Saint Clair, Pa., on July 7, 2023.

Target's stock slides as consumers remain unconvinced of its value

The Minneapolis-based retailer said same-store sales were down for a fourth quarter in a row, even as competitors like Walmart saw increases.
Target stores have improved their position in grocery sales in the Twin Cities area. A look at the grocery area at Target store in downtown Minneapoli

Target cuts prices on thousands of basic items to lure budget shoppers away from Walmart

About 5,000 products will have reduced prices this summer as the Minneapolis retailer tries to appeal to deal seekers.
Shopping around for insurance is essential to finding the best deal and having the right coverage.

No one likes shopping for home or auto insurance. Here are tips to make saving less onerous.

Shopping around for insurance has always been essential to finding the best deal and having the right coverage for unexpected emergencies. But as the costs to repair and replace possessions continue to rise — and the prevalence of extreme weather also increases — choosing an insurance carrier and coverage has become an even more important decision.
Target stores, including the one on Nicollet Mall, offer a variety of rainbow-themed pride merchandise. ] JIM GEHRZï (

Target rolling back Pride product availability is a step backward, LGBTQ advocates say

While all Pride products will still be available online this year, the move is a reaction to conservative backlash last year that caused Target to pull some merchandise entirely.
A crowd gathered to watch Michelle Wie as she teed off on the 17th hole. ] ANTHONY SOUFFLE • Golfers took part

Hazeltine golf club wants to take large-scale events to the next level with villas, new courses

The improvements plan was submitted to the city of Chaska.
In this file image, the Target logo is displayed on shopping carts outside of Target store in California.

Target limits Pride merchandise to select stores after last year's backlash

This year's collection also is smaller. All of it will be available online.

Minneapolis Fed's Kashkari says interest rate conundrum makes 2024 uncertain

Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said it's possible an interest rate cut won't happen this year after all.
Target's Cat & Jack kids apparel brand is now being sold in Hudson's Bay stores in Canada.

Cat & Jack in Canada: Target expands kids brand in Hudson Bay and considers other international markets

The private-label children's line will be expanded at Hudson's Bay stores as international retailers show interest in selling the Minneapolis-based Target's brands.
“You kind of have one shot to really do things right,” said Steve Schreader of opening a new outdoors shop as he stood in his St. Paul basement on

Midwest Mountaineering alum opens outdoor store to fill void

Lake State Mountaineering offers paddling and climbing supplies for Minnesota outdoors enthusiasts.
Eric Theriault, left, RJ Singh, Freddy Akradi and Aleks Westlund play a match at Life Time Chanhassen Pickleball in April. The facility next to the co

Life Time goes full wellness, with spa offering weight-loss management, including Ozempic

The Chanhassen-based company continues to expand, including pickleball facilities.
Golden Valley-based Room & Board has introduced an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).

Room & Board transfers ownership to employees with stock plan

Furniture company starts employee stock ownership plan for staff, including retail salespeople.
Customers arrive at a Target store, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in North Miami Beach, Fla. Target says Thursday, Sept. 23, it will hire fewer seasonal wo

Some Target Up & Up acne products subject of federal class action suit

The lawsuit said the Minneapolis-based retailer should have had a warning on the labels that it contained benzene, a known cancer-causing agent.
In this photo made Dec. 19, 2009, shoppers walk outside Macy's along State Street in Chicago. Retailers head into the home stretch this week hoping pe

Will Target benefit as Macy's closes 150 stores in the next few years?

The Minneapolis-based chain, if it plays its cards right, could gain traffic, at least in the short term as Macy's rebuilds itself.

From Owatonna to Red Wing, Minnesota's small downtowns see resurgence

Small wins can turn a Main Street around, experts say.
The checkout line on Black Friday was steady inside the newly opened Toys ‘R’ Us at the Mall of America.

Budget-conscious consumers flock to deals — both online and in stores — over Black Friday weekend

Retailers hope that is a signal that people will come out for the rest of the season after Mall of America, other stores and online sites all saw robust traffic.
Shoppers bundled against the morning cold waited to enter the Mall of America on Black Friday.

Black Friday shoppers hit Twin Cities malls hunting for deep discounts

Retailers expected consumers to be choosier with their dollars to officially start the holiday shopping season.
Image of a large crowd of Black Friday shoppers wait outside the Mall of America's north entrance for the doors to open at 7 a.m. Friday, Nov. 26, 202

When you can shop on Thanksgiving, Black Friday

From grocery stores to malls, there are few options open on Turkey Day but plenty of extended hours Black Friday.
Target is conducting a test in select stores that involves restricting self-checkout lanes to those purchasing 10 or fewer items.

Target testing limit of 10 items at some stores' self-checkout kiosks

The Edina Target is one of the locations no longer allowing an unlimited number of items at kiosks where customers check out themselves.
Jane Burbank gets help last week from employee Chris Sanchez as she chooses a television at the Richfield Best Buy store. Best Buy CEO Corie Barry sai

Best Buy predicts ho-hum holiday sales

Best Buy saw comparable sales drop nearly 7% in the third quarter, and while it eked out better profits, it lowered its guidance for the crucial end of the year.
It was a busy afternoon last Sunday as fans watched the Vikings-Saints game at the Smack Shack bar at the Potluck food hall in Rosedale Center in Rose

The Twin Cities has too many malls. There's one key to survival.

Malls across the U.S. that are thriving are those with high-end retail stores and places for date nights or family fun.
Back-to-school and Halloween sales outperformed general sales during the third quarter. Pictured is the Target store in Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Target stock surges after better-than-expected profits and a budget-friendly holiday plan

The Minneapolis-based retailer said consumers continue to be cautious with their dollars but did spend more on back-to-school and Halloween.
The new Toys ‘R’ Us store will be located on the eastern side of the Mall of America on the first level.

Toys 'R' Us returns with a store at Mall of America

The toy chain is set to open its second standalone brick-and-mortar store in the U.S. this week.
Nicole Leary of Edina took a photo of her daughter Sloane, right, and niece Teagan Swanson as they posed with a mannequin of Target mascot Bullseye du

Target, Best Buy are unexpected underdogs this holiday season

Both Minnesota companies report quarterly earnings in the next few weeks, and sales are expected to be down.
Charlie Youakim, chief executive of Sezzle, poses for a portrait in Sezzle’s downtown offices.

Buy-now-pay-later company Sezzle to delist from Australian stock market, concentrate on Nasdaq

The Minneapolis-based company says the move will simplify business and increase liquidity as it navigates through a busy holiday season.
Long-time shopper Sandy Solberg checked out the offerings at Resale Select thrift store Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023 Plymouth, Minn. ] GLEN STUBBE • glen.

How to thrift like a pro (even during the holidays)

Twin Cities thrift and vintage store managers offer tips on how to snag the best finds, and provide creative and bargain gifts for people on your list.
Members at Woodbury-based Anytime Fitness, with locations across the U.S. and Canada, will have free access to Apple’s virtual fitness and wellness

Anytime Fitness teams up with Apple Fitness+ for free memberships

It will be the first time Apple Fitness+ will have full integration of its content through another partner gym's virtual platform.
Best Buy virtual experts, shown in this online trailer, will be on hand for Best Buy’s first livestream shopping events.

Best Buy livestreams holiday sales events

Best Buy will host live video events on TalkShopLive on Nov. 1, 8 and 15.
Store manager Bill Holzmer demonstrated an inventory scan at Northern Tool and Equipment on Wednesday in Burnsville.

Is blaming crime the whole story behind retail 'shrink'? Experts say maybe not

External theft is just one part of a complicated loss equation for retailers as they work to reduce losses from operational errors while improving customer experience.

Twin Cities area retailers weigh shorter hours to cope with high labor costs this holiday season

Payroll costs have ballooned over the past year because of mandatory minimum wage hikes, benefits additions and increased wage competition.

Twin Cities area retailers weigh shorter hours to cope with high labor costs this holiday season

Payroll costs have ballooned over the past year because of mandatory minimum wage hikes, benefits additions and increased wage competition.
Target announced the retirements of two long-held executives.

Target announces retirement plans for two long-tenured executives

Target has not said who will take on the role of chief operating officer for John Mulligan after he steps down in 2025.
Andrew Kropp checked his list as he stocked up on movies, among other items, shortly after Best Buy in Eden Prairie opened on Thanksgiving evening in

DVD, Blu-ray heading toward obsolete as Best Buy to stop selling movies next year

After the holidays, Best Buy customers won't be able to find DVDs and Blu-rays on the retailer's shelves or online.
Kristen Caffrey of St. Louis Park shopped with Madelyn, 4, and Emma, 19 months, at Legacy Toys inside Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka on Oct. 6. She sa

Small Minnesota retailers hope to lure budget-conscious shoppers with 'adventures'

U.S. holiday retail sales should increase as much as 4.6% and total as much as $1.56 trillion from November to January, according to a Deloitte study.
Best Buy announced it would start to sell the Dexcom G7 Continuous Glucose Monitoring System.

Best Buy Health expands into prescription diabetes medical tech sale and delivery

Best Buy is launching a new website for customers to order devices like glucose-monitoring machines.
Pedestrians and cyclists on Nicollet Mall in September.

What's next for Nicollet Mall? Downtown Minneapolis depends on its revitalization.

Nicollet Mall is again the epicenter of downtown's revitalization, with hybrid work having sapped foot traffic and pushing retail vacancy rates to about 39%.
After selling clothes and accessories she curated online for years, Shalawn Randall was able to realize her dream of opening her own store B’YOUtiq

Businesses call for Buy Black movement to evolve past 'virtue signaling' to lasting change

Black entrepreneurs and equity advocates in the Twin Cities sense much of the fervor around the "buy Black" movement has cooled, but progress is still possible.
On Monday, Dec. 5,2011, the Mall of America glittered with holiday lights and decorations. Nearly two decades after it opened, the Bloomington mall wa

We want to know: How do you plan to shop for the holidays this year?

Share your thoughts on holiday shopping this season with the Star Tribune.
Customers at the Target store in the East Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan last week.

Target's closings because of crime protect its profit, but at expense of communities

Retailers cutting their losses in big cities already facing post-pandemic challenges is yet another hurdle for major downtowns hoping to re-establish their vitality.
Best Buy is based in Richfield.

Best Buy reveals its holiday drops, offering electronic deals online

Mobile flash sales promise savings on limited gizmos during the highly promotional holiday season.
The Target store in East Harlem was the company’s first in Manhattan, opened in July 2010, but it will now close on Oct. 21, 2023 because of retail

Target will close 9 stores across 4 states because of theft, crime

The Minneapolis-based company will close locations in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Seattle, Portland and the San Francisco Bay Area effective Oct. 21.
A group of business owners, including developers behind the $30 million project to build an Asian grocery store and food hall inside the empty Gordman

Locals behind Afro Deli, Asia Mall as well as Chicago firm buy troubled Burnsville Center

The sale, which doesn't include the anchor stores, comes after city leaders had criticized its former owners for failing to maintain it.
Kendra Scott at Target

Target to sell exclusive line of Kendra Scott jewelry, hoping to stoke fallen sales

The collection will include more than 200 pieces with prices starting at $15 and the majority of items under $40.
Geek Squad agent Michael Duvall educates Margaret, 89, of Moosic, Pa., about a wearable device that monitors vital signs. 

Best Buy Health shows first signs of success with Geek Squad helping at-home patients

The program with Pennsylvania-based Geisinger Health System has added some consistent demand beyond the volatile electronics market to Best Buy's bottom line.
Theodor Sebe of St. Louis Park stretched during a group SilverSneakers Yoga class Thursday at the Southdale YMCA in Edina.

Life Time limits gym access for Medicare seniors, prioritizing other members

Time restrictions — which the gym said health plans' discounted rates have driven — will apply only to seniors with access through their insurance.
Dale Schenian

Dale Schenian, 'larger than life' businessman and Canterbury Park co-founder, dies

Already a successful Twin Cities businessman when he joined the partnership that revived the Canterbury horse racing track, Schenian died on Aug. 25 at age 82.
New signage on the Best Buy Minnetonka store on July 27.

Best Buy preaches end in sight to electronics demand slump but still expects sales decline

Leaders of the Richfield-based chain said they expected comparable sales to drop 4.5% to 6% this fiscal year, revised from the prior guidance of a decline of 3% to 6%.
Manoj Bhargava spoke with ShopHQ (former iMedia) staff in Studio C of ShopHQ upon the announcement of his acquisition of the company on Wednesday.

New billionaire ShopHQ owner brings limited experience but lots of confidence to home shopping

The bankruptcy court-approved $55 million transaction opens a new chapter for the former iMedia channel.
Target Chief Food and Beverage Officer Rick Gomez talked in the grocery section of the Plymouth store during a tour in March 2023.

Target sales take a rare tumble after pulling of Pride products

That, combined with continued cost-cutting by shoppers, made for the first decline in comparable sales since spring 2017, although profit still jumped.
Pride month merchandise displayed at the front of a Target store in Hackensack, N.J., on May 24.

Sales dip expected after Target removed some Pride products

Many Wall Street analysts and investors think the controversy surrounding Target's Pride collection could have turned some consumers off from the Minneapolis retailer, denting traffic and sales numbers.
Laura Peterson helped her mom and dad, Linda and Doug Peterson, shop for a new microwave at the Best Buy Minnetonka store on July 27.

Best Buy at pivot point — will changes return chain to growth?

The Richfield retailer has adjusted its strategy for stores, workers and new products.
Shutterfly’s headquarters are in Redwood City, Calif. The company says it will close its Shakopee warehouse by June 2024 and lay off nearly 250 work

Shutterfly will close Shakopee warehouse, lay off nearly 250 workers

The digital photo company announced at the beginning of the year that it would cut about 100 employees at the facility as a cost-saving measure.
One of the recalled Target candles from the Threshold brand.

Target recalls millions of Threshold candles for second time amid reports of cuts, burns

Cracking glass holders have caused minor injuries.
Charlie Youakim, CEO of Sezzle, was photographed Tuesday in Sezzle’s new offices at the Dayton’s Project in downtown Minneapolis.

Minneapolis company Sezzle in a healthy spot as buy-now-pay-later options grow

Some consumers are choosing to make purchases in installments as they try to manage their budgets and avoid credit card interest.
Nikki Hager shops for her three school-aged children at Once Upon a Child on Wednesday, July 19 in Maplewood.

The hunt is on for back-to-school supplies as Minnesota parents search for savings

With inflation still high and a recession looming, many families could turn to Buy Nothing social media groups and secondhand options to find school supplies.
Crossroads Center mall in St. Cloud is facing a lawsuit for falling behind on mortgage payments.

Lawsuit: St. Cloud mall owners haven't paid loan in nearly three years, owe $84 million

A subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp initiated foreclosure proceedings against the owners of Crossroads Center mall.

Twin Cities parents turn to local baby stores as big-box chains falter

Twin Cities parents turn to local baby stores as big-box chains falter

As the future of Buy Buy Baby remains uncertain, local retailers offer the only places to try a range of baby merchandise.

Beleaguered iMedia files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The company defaulted on a key loan and filed bankruptcy papers in Delaware.

Mall of America evicts long-running tenant Dairy Queen for unpaid rent

Mall of America filed an eviction complaint stating the franchise had nearly $75,000 of unpaid rent since January of this year.
Pride month merchandise displayed at a Target store in Nashville.

Keith Ellison, other state AGs concerned with Target pulling Pride products

The AGs said Target's decision sends a message that "hateful and disruptive conduct can cause even large corporations to succumb to ... bullying."
Southdale Center will begin a renovation in late 2023.

Edina's Southdale Center will get a much-needed renovation later this year

The remodel will include the southeast portion of the mall where a Kowalski's grocery store will open soon.
A view of Target Field and the Central Business District Wednesday afternoon, June 7, 2023 from the 18th floor of the residential tower that is a comp

Changing downtown Minneapolis is at a crossroads

Nearly a third of all downtown office space is dark, a rate not seen in decades and even outpacing the financial woes following the dot-com bubble and the Great Recession.
Longtime customer Kevin Cashman offered condolences on the closing of Hubert White to head tailor Dinh Nguyen, left, as Nguyen updated Cashman on the

Downtown Minneapolis retailer Hubert White to close

Owner Bob White is retiring and will shutter the 107-year-old family business located in the IDS Center along Nicollet Mall in August.

Minneapolis floats new vision for downtown's Nicollet Mall

No buses and looser liquor rules were among the recommendations put forth by a task force of advisers that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey assembled.

Minneapolis floats new vision for downtown's Nicollet Mall: No buses, looser liquor rules

No buses and looser liquor rules were among the recommendations put forth by a task force of advisers that Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey assembled.
Jacob Meister, an installer with Electro Signs, put the Trader Joe’s sign up at the store on South Washington Avenue to prepare for the 2018 opening

Downtown Minneapolis Trader Joe's accused of violating worker rights in federal complaint

Supervisors at the grocery chain allegedly took down union literature in the employee break room.

Lakeville man identified as victim of I-35 crash

The man died after crashing south of Albert Lea.
This photo provided by the National Park Service shows a black bear caught in a natural area of the western Santa Monica Mountains on April 23, 2023,

Woman injured in black bear attack in central Minnesota

A "bear swiped at her, striking her in several places," according to the Minnesota DNR.

Two dead in weekend motorcycle crashes

The crashes occurred in Anoka and Freeborn counties on a traditionally big motorcycling weekend.
Televisions from various manufactures sit on display at Best Buy’s “experience store” in Minnetonka in March of 2023.

Best Buy's sales and profits continue to deteriorate amid electronics recession

Analysts and company leaders expected electronics to be a hard sell early this year but think a rebound could come within the year.
The Target store on Nicollet Mall displayed its 2016 collection of Pride merchandise.

Target pulls some of its Pride products after threats to store workers

The Minneapolis-based retailer is still selling swimwear made for the transgender community but is no longer selling products from a brand that critics say expresses "Satanist" views.
The former Sears department store building in St. Paul, Minn. on Monday, May 22, 2023. After four years of sitting empty, the St. Paul Sears store nea

Vacant Sears building near Capitol in St. Paul sells for $7 million

The former department store could be the site of several uses.
Close-up of Target Threshold candle in jar in Berry Lemonade & Melon scent.

Target recalls nearly 5M candles after reports of burns, cuts

Target received 137 reports of the candle jars breaking during use, which caused at least six injuries.
Peter Bian, co-founder of Saturday Dumpling Co., assembles a pork, shrimp and chive dumpling.

Saturday Dumpling Co. honors immigrant family's legacy, seals its Minneapolis success

Peter Bian, with wife Linda Cao, made his mother's authentic Chinese recipe into a sought-after Twin Cities dish.
Not only are more people turning to Walmart across the country as a way to save money, but it has also beat out local Twin Cities favorites for the co

While Target grapples with frugal consumers, Walmart thrives on its groceries

Walmart raised its predictions for the rest of the year as Target prepares for a decline.