170,000 people work in downtown Minneapolis and between 11:30 and 1:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, it seems as though all of them flood the sidewalks and skyways looking for a bite to eat.
Brother's Deli is one of those locations. Manager Jeff Burstein says they serve 300 to 350 people a day.
"Corned beef, pastrami, the Reubens. That Bulgogi sandwich is a big item," he says. "And we sell a lot of salads. A lot of salads."
Brother's Deli is located two skyways away from Macy's. Burstein says business is good and he doesn't think the loss of 950 jobs from Macy's will necessarily have a negative impact on his bottom line.
"But we'll see what happens because they're just talking about recession, people are. I don't think they're holding back yet, at least for lunches," Burstein says. "But if it really hits then it's a different story, you know?"
Just across the skyway is the Greek Grill Cafe, where manager Ahmed Koubaytari says he has seen some fallout from the announcement from Macy's.
Koubaytari's been serving gyros, mousaka and falafel sandwiches downtown for about 15 years and lately he's seen some changes in his customer base.
"We got a lot of employees from Macy's and I've noticed we haven't seen many of them lately," he says.
Macy's officials say the company's decision to uproot 950 employees from Minneapolis is part of a national effort that will cut about 2,300 management jobs and combine several regional headquarters across the country.
By summer, the Minneapolis-based Macy's North group will be folded into New York-based Macy's East.
Macy's spokesman Jim Sluzewski says some of the displaced employees may be able to relocate to other stores, but he doesn't know how many that will be.
"There's some terrifically talented people there. This decision based on the needs of the business is not a reflection of their individual efforts. These are terrific talented people. And as many as we can accomodate, we're interested in doing so," he says.
The jobs that will be lost in Minneapolis include buyers, planners, and Human Resource professionals.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says the people who filled these positions are valuable workers and residents and he's disappointed that Macy's is letting them go.
"Many of them I've worked with and they're incredibly talented. My wife used to have one of these jobs and it's a loss when it happens," Rybak says. "It's too bad that in these corporate mergers sometimes someone from somewhere else on a balance sheet makes a decision which I think unfortunately really hurts somebody's life."
Despite this setback, Rybak and other city officials are quick to point out the flipside of the coin.
According to Mike Christiansen, director of the city's Community Planning and Economic Development department, corporate consolidation sometimes works to the benefit of Minneapolis.
"Ameriprise has clearly consolidated their new company just in Minneapolis. U.S. Bank consolidated 17,000 jobs in Minnesota, many of which are in downtown Minneapolis, in about 2002 with the merger with Firstar and other bank systems," he says.
In addition, Christiansen says that Target's downtown corporate headquarters added 2,000 jobs in 2007 and the city saw a four percent growth in jobs in a year's time.
But Christiansen says retail in downtown Minneapolis is on a downward sales trend and he says Macy's made it's decision based on it's own corporate needs, not on anything the city did or didn't do.
"In the case of Macy's, you will find that their local leadership will tell you that the city did everything we could to make sure Macy's had a corporate home here," Christiansen says. "The relationship between Mayor Rybak and Frank Guzzetta, their local executive, couldn't have been stronger. They did a lot together. So we're confident that we did the best we could."
After the headquarters positions are eliminated, Macy's will still have about 3,000 employees in Minnesota.
Most of the 3,000 will be in Macy's 14 stores in Minnesota. About 50 will work out of district offices in Minneapolis, overseeing stores in Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and the Dakotas.