It’s getting weird at Macy’s downtown [PHOTOS]

All photos by Jessica Armbruster, Lucas Rayala, and Kathryn Bergmann.

All photos by Jessica Armbruster, Lucas Rayala, and Kathryn Bergmann.

When stores close, there’s generally some sort of “going out of business” sale. The downtown Macy’s has about 100-plus years of random stuff to get rid of.

It’s a Thursday evening in Minneapolis. On the lower levels you’ll find people looking through racks of clothing, searching aisles for any worthwhile household items, and going through stacks of other typical department-store goods.

But the top floor is where the really odd shit is rumored to be.

As the elevator doors open, my friends and I are greeted with the sounds of a LMFAO hit. To the left is a four-foot gnome of some kind, and a few feet away are two giant wooden angels hanging from a metal stand. Empty Guess boxes are stacked in front of them as an altar of sorts.

An employee smiles and says, “Hello.” She knows we’re just here to gawk and explore.


We’re not the only ones. A guy with a selfie stick is walking through the stacks and talking loudly. He’s either video blogging or Face Timing with someone. Another woman is taking selfies in front of a five-foot-tall metallic wreath. A couple snaps pictures among a forest of silver and hot-pink Christmas trees. Some people are rubbernecking, others are perhaps saying goodbye by taking photos to share on social media.

There are a mind-boggling number of mannequins. Mannequins of little kids, mannequins that are only boobs or butts, mannequins made of cloth and stuffing, and abstract, artsy mannequins. We even find a room of mannequins that looks oddly ceremonial and ominous. Do these things come alive at night? Where will they go after the store closes?

My friend and I come upon a section dedicated to wedding dresses.

“If you’re looking for something in a specific size, let me know,” a nice lady tells us. “I have more items in the back.” She looks hopeful, but we apologize. We’re just exploring. She nods her head, understanding, and suggests we take a look at a $5 dress rack next.

Around the corner we spot office chairs that look like they came from the '90s. They’re arranged in even rows, as if a Powerpoint presentation is about to start. There are scuffed-up desks and chairs and other office equipment for sale at not-great prices for something you might see in a dumpster elsewhere.

Hanson’s “MMMbop” kicks in on the in-store music station, which feels about right.

Inside what looks to be a storage locker we find a receipt from 2010. There’s professional kitchen equipment for sale, including utilitarian looking microwaves and a customer coffee station like the kind you see in Starbucks. One of those “Teamwork” posters that were in every office a few decades ago is for sale, and there are rusted metal racks for $100.


Why are they $100?

As we head out, we come across a three-foot-tall pot filled with trash. Inside, there’s a note addressed to someone named Philip.

“Fragile beyond beleif [sic]. Lots of packaging… Plus, the base is tiny. Packing material, strapping… yeow --cc”

Yeow indeed.


It’s only going to get weirder, as Macy’s is purging its century-old collection in waves. Earlier this month, people posed with odd religious sculptures and abstract/modern plastic furniture. Last week, it was mannequins and kitchen supplies. This week, they’re loading the floor up with items from their beloved Christmas installations.

Come and stare while you can, you won’t be able to for long.