Many smaller businesses couldn't cut it when Uptown got fancy in the late '90s/early ‘00s. Now it looks like two major retailers can't make it work either.
This week, North Face and Columbia have announced plans to close their stores on Hennepin Avenue.
North Face moved into the neighborhood 10 years ago. They will be shuttering their doors sometime in January. According to a report in Southwest Journal, a North Face rep stated that the closure “was not related to the reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue last year.” (Construction is presumably still underway; the intersection of 31st and Hennepin, once managed by a traffic light, is currently a 10-way stop-sign stop.)
Meanwhile, North Face’s neighbor Columbia is getting the hell out of the neighborhood on January 20, according to Biz Journal.
You won’t have to retreat online to shop at these sporting/wintertime adventure/cold weather stores, however, as both still have huge spaces at Mall of America, as well as shops in St. Paul and the ‘burbs.
Their exodus follows in the wake of Victoria’s Secret fleeing the cursed, multi-story space on Lake and Hennepin in February of last year. The building had previously been occupied by a financially haunted GAP.
Hope for chain retailers making their dreams come true in Uptown isn’t completely dead; the Apple store, Sephora, H&M, CB2, and Urban Outfitters are still doing business. Meanwhile, indie shops Magers & Quinn and Kitchen Window continue to be the MVPs of the neighborhood.