In one of the biggest signals yet of how the COVID-19 pandemic has altered employment practices across the U.S., Target has announced it's exiting the City Center building in downtown Minneapolis.
The company confirmed in an email to employees and a statement to BMTN that it's ending its presence in the City Center skyscraper, where it leased almost one million square feet of office space, representing about a third of its office space in downtown Minneapolis, and a quarter of its total footprint in the Twin Cities.
Prior to the pandemic, around 3,500 employees worked out of the 51-story building at 1 N. 6th St., with another 5,000 working at Target's head office on Nicollet Mall, and another few thousand at its Brooklyn Park campus.
But the onset of COVID-19 has brought with it a huge shift in working practices as more and more business was conducted remotely.
In its email to employees, Target said the shutdown is driven by its move towards a "hybrid model of remote and on-site work" for its office staff, which it says is "allowing for flexibility and collaboration and ultimately, requiring less space."
The company says there will be no layoffs as a result of the change, and "the Twin Cities will remain Target’s hometown."
"Team members currently based in the City Center building will continue to have a home base at one of our other headquarter buildings in Minneapolis or Brooklyn Park," it says.
Target previously had four Twin Cities office locations, but its West Campus building off of I-394 in St. Louis Park was put on the market in 2015, with 1,300 staff moving to the Brooklyn Park facility.
In the same year, it cut 1,700 jobs from its head office operations downtown.
The retailer has seen its fortunes rise during the pandemic, posting an increase in sales in 2020 that was greater than its previous 11 years combined.
It's also embarked on massive investments in store remodels, the reopening of new stores, and launching new in-house brands.