Neiman Marcus to close Mpls store

Neiman Marcus announced Monday that its Nicollet Mall location in Minneapolis will be closed by next July.

The Neiman Marcus Group President and CEO Karen Katz said in a statement that the store's 107 employees will be offered transfers to other locations or given severance packages.

Katz said the 118,000-square-foot store in Gaviidae Common "did not meet our long-term operational goals."

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said he was disappointed by the announcement, but not surprised.

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"I worked directly with them when they were going to close several years ago and got them to agree to one more extension of their lease," Rybak said. "But they said at the time, several years ago, that 2013 was probably going to be their last year."

The store opened in 1991. Rybak said it was part of an effort to bring upscale retailers to Nicollet Mall. Since then, Rybak said, the demographics of downtown have changed. The area has added tens of thousands of permanent residents, with thousands of nearby rental units slated for construction.

"The idea of a downtown built around just high-fashion retail is really a thing of the past," Rybak said. "We need to evolve more quickly to have more services that represent that this is a 24-hour downtown, that's both a place for visitors for one-of-a-kind retail but also for everyday shopping because this is part of a huge neighborhood."

Mark Stenglein, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, said he was sorry to hear the store would close. But he also said Nicollet Mall was ready for a makeover, and the space could be part of a remade downtown.

"Do I hate to see them go? Sure, I hate to see them go," Steinglein said. "But it doesn't reduce the vibrance of Nicollet Avenue as the main street of Minnesota. Again, it's ever changing."

The Nicollet Mall location is the only Neiman Marcus store in Minnesota.