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February 21, 2005 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

Central Business District

Devotees of the recently departed Saks Fifth Avenue, 655 Nicollet Mall, have not lost their store entirely. Off Fifth, Saks' outlet division, celebrated its grand opening Feb. 17 at the same address, with Mayor R.T. Rybak cutting the ribbon.

Off Fifth has been "fully operational" since January, said Amber Cacali, director of marketing for Off Fifth, which is headquartered in New York. The store will offer merchandise from Saks and other vendors, including its own "Folio" clothing line. Everything is discounted from 40 percent to 70 percent off original and comparable retailers' prices. The store will not sell cosmetics, as Saks did.

Off Fifth will continue to operate Caf SFA in the store.

The four-floor department store will be the largest in the Off Fifth chain. The division, which occupied an entire floor of Saks for many years, enjoyed better sales figures than Saks proper, according to Erin Harney, marketing manager for Brookfield Properties, which manages Gaviidae Common at 555 Nicollet Mall.

"[Off Fifth] did really well," said Harney. "That part of the store was really in demand. The rest of the store wasn't doing that bad, but you can't ignore that fact."

Neither Cacali nor Harney was nervous about the future of the large outlet store.

"Minnesotans are people that love to talk about what a good deal they got," Harney said.