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Grand Forks Macy's store to be sold

GRAND FORKS--Macy's plans to sell its Grand Forks location, a longtime anchor store at Columbia Mall. The retail giant announced it will market the 99,000-square-foot space it occupied in Grand Forks after that location was listed as one of the 1...

Macy's Grand Forks store, located in the south wing of Columbia Mall, will be put on the market by the retail giant. (Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald)
Macy's Grand Forks store, located in the south wing of Columbia Mall, will be put on the market by the retail giant. (Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald)

GRAND FORKS-Macy's plans to sell its Grand Forks location, a longtime anchor store at Columbia Mall.

The retail giant announced it will market the 99,000-square-foot space it occupied in Grand Forks after that location was listed as one of the 100 stores set to close by the end of the year, Macy's spokeswoman Andrea Schwartz said in an email.

She declined to say for how much the space would be sold or if any businesses were interested in moving to Grand Forks in Macy's place. County property records list an assessed value of $6.18 million for the store.

Columbia Mall leaders also said they are looking for a business to join the three other anchor tenants-Sears, Scheels and J.C. Penney, though it did not give details on the future of Macy's space.

"We view the Macy's departure from Columbia Mall as an opportunity to evaluate our options and potential uses for this space," mall spokeswoman Marianne Fasano said in a statement to the Herald.

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The closing of the Grand Forks store was announced Wednesday when Macy's Inc. named 68 of the 100 stores it plans to close after seeing disappointing holiday sales. The retail giant estimates 10,000 of its employees will lose their jobs as a result of store closures and restructuring.

The Grand Forks store has 53 employees, though it is possible some could be transferred to other Macy's stores.

Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown said he met with Columbia Mall leaders in hopes of keeping Macy's in Grand Forks. He added he would be happy to discuss the matter with Macy's corporate leaders but admitted it's not likely the store in Grand Forks can be saved.

"We have to also accept they didn't make this decision lightly," he said. "I'm sure they have to look at their bottom line. It's certainly a business decision that they made for their best interest, but we don't feel it is in the best interest of our community."

Brown expressed his disappointment in Macy's decision to leave Grand Forks but understands the company doesn't take closures lightly.

"Everybody I've talked to just loved that store and it was always was busy when you were in there," he said.

He acknowledged the retailer's departure presents an opportunity to bring a different business to Grand Forks, adding he would like to see another upper-end franchise move into Columbia Mall.

He said Herberger's, for example, could use the opening as an opportunity to expand in the region. The retailer has stores in Fargo, Minot, Bismarck, Dickinson and Moorhead.

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"Like they say, change is opportunity," he said.

Herberger's did not return messages left by the Herald for comment on this story.

Related Topics: MIKE BROWNRETAIL
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