Downtown St. Paul Lunds & Byerlys changing hours, citing ‘viability’ and ‘safety’

Downtown St. Paul Lunds & Byerlys changing hours, citing ‘viability’ and ‘safety’

Downtown St. Paul Lunds & Byerlys changing hours, citing 'viability' and 'safety'

A Twin Cities Lunds & Byerlys location will soon be opening later and closing earlier. 

In a statement, the Minnesota-based grocery chain said to maintain the “viability of this location,” its downtown St. Paul store will be making operational changes and adjusting its hours. 

Starting July 15, the grocery store will open daily at 10 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. — currently, the store operates daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.  

The chain said the moves are needed to continue its tradition of having stores that are “clean, well-maintained, and safe for both our guests and our team members.”

Part of the changes include moving to “self-service” in its deli and meat departments and “refining” the product selection. 

“We are confident these changes will help us continue to provide exceptional service to our customers while also ensuring the store’s financial sustainability,” the statement added. 

For downtown St. Paul and those who call it home, this makes finding fresh food and produce harder than it already is. 

“I’ve always liked the store, I’m glad they finally got a store downtown, they needed one for years,” Archer Dickens, who walks to the grocery store, says. 

When asked if he thinks it’s hard to find fresh food in downtown St. Paul, Dickens put it simply: “Hell yeah.”

For others, it was a spot to go to while working in the area, like Ikram Omar. 

“I feel like it’s a place that really brings community together so it’s very sad to see the hours are getting cut,” Omar said. 

And for Mollie Wood, she’s seen the store reduce hours multiple times now. 

“One of the things about living downtown is you want to walk to things,” Wood said, adding she’s now worried about the grocery store’s staying power.

“This creates kind of a food desert around here,” Wood said about the reduced hours.

That “food desert” worry is something closely monitored by local hunger relief organizations. 

“Our role in this is to really listen to partners, see what they’re hearing, listen to neighbors and figure out where we can best support,” Taylor Day, partner services manager with Second Harvest Heartland, said. 

“This issue impacts people who use public transportation, also impacts seniors and those with mobility issues,” Day said. 

As for the safety of the store, for years now, the St. Paul Police Department has had an officer inside the store from open to close. According to the department, it will continue to do that with the changes.