Staff Directory 6370611

Nicole Norfleet

Reporter | Commercial real estate
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
Shoppers at Mall of America on Friday.

Mall of America making comeback, but challenges remain

Traffic is still not back to pre-pandemic levels at MOA, and retail as a whole is facing difficulties exacerbated by the pandemic economy.
Target is no longer requiring masks in stores where the municipality does not require them.

Target no longer requires masks unless mandated by local rules

The Minneapolis-based retailer joins other chains in dropping mask use in states and municipalities that allow it.
Target has halted sales of Pokémon and sports trading cards in its stores after a fight between customers in the parking lot of one of its Wisconsin

Target halts sales of trading cards in stores after customers fight in Wisconsin

The value for collectible cards has soared over the past year, shaped by speculators who rush into stores to buy whole inventories and then resell the most in-demand cards online.
Warren Beck helped develop and manage several prominent shopping centers as well as hotels in the Twin Cities area.

Warren Beck, Galleria developer who helped shape the west metro, dies at 75

He cultivated the Galleria in Edina as an intimate mix of local and national brands.
Former Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly. (Hortense Le Gentil/Provided photo)

Former Best Buy CEO says elevating 'human magic' key to good business

Hubert Joly has a new book out, as he forges his next chapter after leading companies.
Don Liu, Target’s chief legal and risk officer: “A lot of Asian Americans face the challenges of moving up in the world.”

Target launches new efforts to bolster Asian workers, products

Target helps launch Twin Cities Asian Executive Leadership Conference, will highlight Asian-owned businesses on website.
Mike Mohan, president and chief operating officer of Best Buy. (Provided photo)

Mike Mohan stepping down as president of Best Buy

The executive team is reshuffling to cover his duties.
In Uptown Minneapolis on Wednesday, the National Guard kept an eye on businesses a day after Derek Chauvin was convicted for the murder of George Floy

After Derek Chauvin verdict, Twin Cities set to defortify

Public safety officials described plans to take down barriers and boards, citing calmed tensions and decreased threats of civil unrest.
People gathered at George Floyd Square on Tuesday as the guilty verdicts were announced in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek

At George Floyd Square, verdict relieves tensions of a long year

The site of George Floyd's death was transformed as he crowd heard the news. Hundreds trickled into the square to hear and celebrate. Some in the crowd wept and embraced.
Keno Evol at his Black Table Arts co-working and performance space in south Minneapolis.     ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com Keno Evo

Amid Twin Cities trauma, safe spaces sprout to help people heal

Here are places that people can seek solace.
Minneapolis police officers check a damaged building on Lake Street early Monday, April 12, after Brooklyn Center Police fatally shot 20-year-old Daun

Twin Cities business owners jolted, prepare again for unrest

Twin Cities business owners hurt during last summer's riots prepare again for unrest
Roland Jackson looked up to check on the Derek Chauvin trial on March 29 2021, while getting some breakfast inside the Cup Foods at George Floyd Squar

Retailers urged to rethink police calls for low-level crimes

As the trial over George Floyd's death unfolds, many are hoping the case will prompt retailers to reassess how they treat Black and other minority customers.
A frame grab of video from inside Cup Foods on Monday, May 25, 2020, showing George Floyd, right. Also pictured is Christopher Martin, top left in gra

Store clerk's testimony triggers talk of expectations for employees to stop theft

Trial observers took to social media to voice their sympathy for Cup Foods clerk, saying he shouldn't have been put in that situation.
Kaia Hirt, a Twin Cities teacher, waschained to a fence outside the Hennepin County Government Center, Tuesday, March 30, 2021 in Minneapolis.

Protesting teacher chains herself to courthouse fence during Chauvin trial

She teaches 10th grade English at Champlin Park High School.
Attorney Ben Crump left, Rev Al Sharpton and Brandon Williams nephew of George Floyd took a knee for 8:46 at the Hennepin County Government Center at

Trauma relived as Derek Chauvin's trial unfolds before the world

The world took a front-row seat to the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on Monday.
Marchers chanted when they paused outside US Bank Stadium to listen to a couple of speakers.     ]  JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com   On

Prayer service on eve of Derek Chauvin trial urges peace, unity and justice

Speakers at a prayer service on the eve of opening statements in the Derek Chauvin murder and manslaughter trial urged peace, unity and justice for…
DonEsther Morris of A Mother’s Love gave instructions to volunteers before heading out to north Minneapolis neighborhoods to hand out masks and info

'Navigators' aim to mediate between protesters, police during Derek Chauvin trial

Community groups focus on smoothing tensions in Minneapolis.
In this image taken from video, defense attorney Eric Nelson, left, and defendant Derek Chauvin, right, confer before Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahi

Dismissal of Black juror prompts debate over race, bias

Last week's dismissal from the Chauvin jury pool of a Black man who said Blacks don't receive equal treatment under the justice system is renewing questions over how race and bias are handled in Minnesota's justice system.
Police scuffled with activists as they moved to clear out a homeless encampment on the Near North side of Minneapolis Thursday morning. For now, the s

City's attempt to clear Mpls. homeless camp leads to scuffles between police, camp defenders

Videos surfaced on social media Thursday showing the confrontation.
Del Shea Perry presented Kimberly Handy-Jones (left) with a pair of red Timberland boots, her son Cordale Handy’s favorite brand, to honor her signa

Mom provides headstones, encourages justice for families grieving loved ones lost to police

Woman whose son died in police encounter provides support, raises money for headstones.
“It’s very lonely,” school resource officer Chaunté Ford said of her role as a rare Black woman on the St. Louis Park police force.

For Black police officer, Chauvin trial intensifies struggle within

At times, Chaunté Ford has to reconcile her profession and her cultural identity: "I am a Black woman, and I am a police officer."
Cortez Rice, who says he’s a nephew of George Floyd by loyalty, not blood, held a “Justice for George Floyd” sign at Saturday’s protest in St.

Ahead of Derek Chauvin trial, protesters rally in St. Paul

About 150 people, many of them family members of Minnesotans who died during encounters with police, gathered outside of Gov. Tim Walz's St. Paul residence Saturday to demand more accountability.
Target gained $9 billion in market share this past fiscal year. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Target's sales grew $15B last year, more than last 11 combined

Now the Minneapolis-based retailer plans to invest $4B a year to be ready for whatever the next disruption will be.
A security guard stood in an aisle at Greenway Liquors in Loring Park, where numerous looting incidents prompted the owner to put up boards on windows

Mpls. businesses are torn: Show confidence or board up for trial?

Some don't want to send a wrong message; others fear more damage could do them in.
Shoppers try to beat the snowstorm before the holidays Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2020 at a Target Super Store in Richfield, Minnesota.

Target's investment in stores — which paid off during pandemic — isn't over

The retailer has focused on store-centric fulfillment for years and it boosted growth during the pandemic.
David Conwell  (online obituary photo)

Man killed in Duluth standoff is identified

The BCA is investigating the shooting that killed 37-year-old David Conwell.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced Friday that it will increase the maximum annual crisis benefit in its Energy Assistance Program from $6

Minnesota Department of Commerce doubles crisis benefits to help heat homes

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has doubled the amount of assistance families can qualify for to help cover the costs to heat their homes following…
Shoppers leave a Best Buy store on Black Friday, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Friday Nov. 27, 2020. (Mark Moran/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

Best Buy making changes to shift retailer further toward 'digital-first'

The Richfield-based retailer reckons with online shopping but it expects sales to slow.
Maurices in Maple Grove. (KYNDELL HARKNESS/Star Tribune)

Duluth-based Maurices' CEO retiring; former Express chief executive his successor

George Goldfarb has been CEO for a decade; he will be chairman emeritus of the company when he steps down.
A woman walked past an empty storefront at the Burnsville Center Thursday. Alternative uses for spaces where retail hasn’t worked are being discusse

How to save the aging Burnsville Center? New mall owner thinks the key is selling some buildings, land

City Council hosts a work session with stakeholders over the mall's future
Target's store on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

Target names first chief growth officer, new marketing chief in executive shuffles

Several within Target's top management are taking new roles.
browsing is back Carolyn Witt of Plymouth shopped at the Foxwell home store in Edina on Thursday. The store opened last summer and is seeing an increa

Minnesota stores see signs customers crave in-person shopping

Retailers large and small are seeing gradual increases in customers returning to stores.
Pictured is an employee delivering a purchase to a customer using curbside pickup in Apple Valley. (GLEN STUBBE • glen.stubbe@startribune.com)

WSJ: Best Buy has cut store jobs, reduced hours of other workers

The Richfield-based retailer says it must evolve its workforce as shoppers' habits change.
One of Target's stores in Jackson, Miss. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Target joins other retailers in offering paid time off for COVID-19 vaccine

The retailer also will cover transportation for those wanting shots for COVID.
Target's All in Motion brand had more than $1 billion in sales in its first year. (Provided by Target)

Target activewear brand generated more than $1B in sales in first year

Target markets All in Motion as an affordable, high-quality activewear line for the entire family.
Alex Malen, 21, a senior at the U, bought GameStop and AMC shares: “To me, it’s a little bit more than just trying to make a dollar. It’s about

Minnesota GameStop traders on why they dipped into stock market

Individual traders have rocked the stock market in recent weeks as they helped push several share prices of struggling retailers to extraordinary heights.
Target's collection for Black History Month is its largest ever. (Provided by Target)

Target expands Black History Month collection

The Minneapolis-based retailer's selection will include winner of first design contest for HBCU students.
Target store in Danvers, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, FIle)

Levi's to offer exclusive home collection at Target

The limited-edition items are available starting on Feb. 28.
Christopher & Banks says closing sales at its stores should be done by Feb. 28. (BRANDON L. JONES/Provided photo)

Bankrupt Christopher & Banks closing Plymouth headquarters, laying off 361 workers

The stores are continuing closing sales, with completion set for before the end of February.
Shoppers in December 2020 at a Target Super Store in Richfield. (DAVID JOLES/ david.joles@startribune.com)

Target announces $500 employee bonuses after busy holidays

Target front-line managers will qualify for higher awards.
Omar Ishrak, former CEO of Medtronic and current chairman of Intel and Compute Health Acquisition Corp. (Provided by Medtronic)

Former Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak leads health care company seeking $750M IPO

Medtronic has expressed an interest in buying 1.5 million of shares being offered in the IPO of Compute Health Acquisition Corp.
The shelves are stocked and ready ahead of Good Grocer’s Friday grand opening.

Good Grocer to reopen volunteer-powered grocery store in south Minneapolis

After being closed since 2018, the Good Grocer is set to reopen on Nicollet Avenue.
Shoppers in the Christopher & Banks store on Black Friday 2019 at the Mall of America in Bloomington. (SHARI L. GROSS/shari.gross@startribune.com)

Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks files for bankruptcy protection

The women's apparel chain said its sales plummeted during the pandemic.
A Target employee places a curbside pickup purchase into the trunk of a customer in Jackson, Miss., in November. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Target has blockbuster holiday season as sales surged 17%

Comparable sales — including a 4% increase in same-store sales and a doubling of online sales— jumped during the busy November and December months.
Packages passed down a conveyor belt before receiving a shipping label at Amazon in Shakopee during the holiday season. (ANTHONY SOUFFLE/Star Tribune)

Online holiday spending increases 32%, sets record

Higher sales likely to keep up into early part of year.
People walked past several empty storefronts at the Burnsville Center Thursday.

New Burnsville Center owner with checkered past optimistic about mall's future

Mike Kohan sees new chances for the mall, which was regaining traffic before COVID.
Cloud Island infant sleepers are being recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (Provided by CPSC)

Target recalls Cloud Island baby clothes, Cat & Jack swimsuits

The items have snaps that could come loose or break off and cause hazards, according to federal consumer watchdog group.
Shoppers during Black Friday at the Mall of America Friday in Bloomington. (DAVID JOLES/david.joles@startribune.com)

Mall of America no longer delinquent on its $1.4B mortgage

The mall's owner has worked out a deal that modified terms of the loan because of the pandemic.
A commuter waits for a bus by Target's corporate headquarters along South 11th Street in March. (DAVID JOLES/david.joles@startribune.com)

Target to sell online beauty firm Dermstore for $350M

United Kingdom company THG Holdings will be the new owner.
Jessica Winnie with items she distributes through MN Black Box.

This Twin Cities business gives Black-owned products a platform

After founding support networks, Jessica Winnie now is showcasing products in MN Black Box.
Jeff Pedro delivered mail and packages Wednesday morning on his route in the St. Paul neighborhood of Dayton’s Bluff. Pedro said he has delivered mo

Minnesota delivery workers feeling Christmas crush of online orders

Christmas crunch this year is not at stores but rather on doorsteps as giving gifts goes online during pandemic.
A new rapid COVID-19 test site has opened at the Mall of America. On Friday, those with appointments were able to drive through to the mall’s far no

Rapid COVID-19 tests offered at Mall of America

Results of the $99 tests are available the same day, often within 30 minutes.
Best Buy will offer one-day delivery on thousands of items. (Dreamstime/TNS)  ORG XMIT: 1467931 ORG XMIT: MIN1910221052144589

Best Buy tests remodeled stores during busy holiday season

The Richfield retailer has several ongoing fulfillment pilots including a handful of redesigned Twin Cities stores.
Victim in Rosemount house fire was a longtime truck driver

Victim in Rosemount house fire was a longtime truck driver

A 46-year-old man was identified as the victim of a fatal Rosemount fire.Gene A. Spurzem died Dec. 4, a couple of days after a house…
Shoppers in the Christopher & Banks store on Black Friday 2019 at the Mall of America in Bloomington. (SHARI L. GROSS/Star Tribune)

Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks considering sale or bankruptcy

Struggling before the pandemic, the women's clothing chain might not be able to recover from the dip in sales this year.
(Jessica Pettway/The New York Times)

Target joins other retailers, grocers in accusing chicken suppliers of price fixing

The Mpls. retailer joins others in a federal action alleging inflating of prices.
Customer traffic was better than expected at Macy’s at Ridgedale Mall, a possible in-store outlier on Black Friday.

Cyber Monday sales expected to break record

Cyber Monday is expected to become the largest online shopping day in history as more consumers decide to digitally fill their holiday stockings this year…
Black Friday shoppers file into Best Buy for the electronics retailer's early 5 a.m. opening Friday in Richfield.

Twin Cities customers still shopped on Black Friday — just not as many as past years

With a rise in COVID-19 cases across the country, numerous big box stores like Twin Cities-based Target and Best Buy decided to close this Thanksgiving and offer their sales early online and in stores to discourage large crowds visiting stores on Black Friday.
An hourslong Amazon Web Services outage affected Twin Cities Shipt workers, among others, on Wednesday.

Amazon cloud service outage affects companies from Shipt to Roku

Some Twin Cities Shipt workers were unable to schedule orders to fulfill.
Socially distanced people wearing face masks, wait in line outside a Best Buy electronics store at The Fountains at Farah shopping complex in El Paso,

Consumers stocking up on at-home technology, boosting Best Buy results

Retailer's results benefited from holiday deals, but run may be temporary.
Former Target executives Chris Walton and Anne Mezzenga have launched the Urban Rooster website to give small Minneapolis retailers an online presence

Mpls. retail experts launch online shop for small retailers spurred by COVID economy

Twin Cities retail experts launch Urban Rooster, where shoppers can buy products from local small businesses.
Target on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Its "drive up” service is booming. It allows customers to order over a smartphone and drive to the store once

Minnesota retailers prepare for Black Friday with a bit of gray

Stores have spread out their holiday discounts to reduce crowds.
Target's third-quarter results showed more huge gains in sales and profits, though at slightly slower rates than seen earlier in the year. File photo

Target shares hit new high after results show shoppers are still pouring into its stores

Analysts say pandemic may keep sales up in 4th quarter but growth isn't sustainable.
Shannon Mueller, of Husdon, Wis., walked up to “Santa Scott,” with her bashful 2-year old, Porter, and 5-month old, Rylan, before taking photos No

At Twin Cities malls, it's Zoom Santa and wish lists shared through glass

Thanks to COVID, kids can't sit on the jolly old elf's lap, but they can still get face time.
Best Buy is widening the number of delivery services it has by partnering with Instacart for same-day ordering and delivery.

Best Buy partners with Instacart to offer expanded same-day delivery

The arrangement widens the number of delivery options for shoppers.
Target and Ulta Beauty shops have made a deal to open mini Ulta shops in Target stores.

Target to open mini Ulta Beauty shops within stores

The plan is to expand the mini shops to hundreds more, strengthening both brands.
Shipt will offer bonuses to people who work over the Thanksgiving weekend. Shown is a Shipt worker shopping at Target now offers a servithe Edina Targ

Target-owned Shipt will give workers bonuses for Thanksgiving weekend work

The grocery-delivery company seeks to triple its workforce.
Meat cutter Mark Walfoort donned personal protective equipment while displaying tenderloin beef at a Lunds & Byerlys in Roseville. Walfoort keeps 10 w

Rising COVID-19 cases heighten worker safety concerns for Minnesota retailers

Retailers and stores are ramping up precautions ahead of the holiday season.
A Target store in Robinson Township, Pa., advertised for seasonal workers last month.

Minnesota firms join the rush to hire seasonal workers for holidays

Many retailers focusing on distribution and delivery as online sales expected to surge.
Signs on the boarded-up windows outside Saks Fifth Avenue Off Fifth store in downtown Minneapolis on Monday, Nov. 2.

Local businesses brace for more unrest ahead of Election Day

Some of the downtown Minneapolis businesses taking precautions now were damaged in unrest in August.
On Thanksgiving last year, customers were looking for deals at the Best Buy in Richfield. The chain's stores will be closed on Thanksgiving this year

Best Buy will open early on Black Friday, offer deals throughout November

The electronics retailer will open at 5 a.m. the day after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Burnsville Center is under foreclosure.

Half of Burnsville Center property on auction block this week

The shopping mall's owner has fallen behind on its mortgage payments. The auction does not include J.C. Penney, Macy's and the empty Sears.
The Uptown Apple Store in Minneapolis.

Uptown Apple store in Minneapolis closes permanently

Computer outlet never reopened after pandemic closure, damage from riots.
Shoppers browse the aisles during a Black Friday sale at a Target store in Newport, Ky., in 2018.

No early morning hours for Target this Black Friday

Shoppers may reserve line spots remotely, and more can drive up to pick up orders.
HalloweenCostumes.com in North Mankato can't find enough workers for Halloween rush.

Minnesota retailers adjust as pandemic brings Halloween tricks and treats

Some stores are making accommodations for social distancing, while others can't find enough workers to fill orders.