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Store to close, but you won't have to go without Saks

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After maintaining a Nicollet Mall presence for 25 years, Saks is leaving downtown Minneapolis.

The Star Tribune reports that Saks Off 5th, a discount-style version of the famed department store, will close next January. The store, an anchor in Gaviidae Common, was Saks Fifth Avenue when it opened, then switched to the value-oriented concept in 2005.

“It’s unfortunate that Saks chose to leave at a time when downtown is at the cusp of such a resurgence and so many businesses are choosing to invest,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges told the newspaper, noting that the number of downtown residents has swelled to 37,000.

The closure comes as the city prepares for a major multimillion dollar update of Nicollet Mall.

Fans of Saks Off 5th need not despair though. A spanking new 28,000-square-foot Saks Off 5th store will anchor the $100 million new Twin Cities Premium Outlet Mall set to open in mid-August in Eagan. The Pioneer Press reports that on Friday, applicants to work at that store and at least 70 more at the center came to a job fair at Eagan's Civic Arena. More than 1,600 jobs in management, sales and customer service are up for grabs.

The job fair runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Eagan Civic Arena is located at 3830 Pilot Knob Road.

The Business Journal reported that Walgreen's has expressed interest in the Minneapolis Saks property for one of its upscale stores, which offers shoppers access to amenities like a juice bar, beauty advisers and a brow-shaping station while they're shopping for headache remedies and contact lens solution. The Star Tribune could not confirm the report about Walgreen's.

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