AT&T announced the closure of its downtown San Francisco flagship store, another blow to the city’s struggling retail sector.
The store at 1 Powell Street in the Union Square shopping district is one of the largest in the country and will close on August 1, a spokesperson confirmed.
This is the latest installment in San Francisco’s retail apocalypse, which has seen many high street retailers abandon the city’s downtown amid a rise in thefts and homelessness. , which also scared away customers.
But the closure is also part of a larger trend for the telecommunications giant, which is also closing a store in Chicago. This will leave the company with only one flagship store in the country in Dallas.
“Consumer shopping habits continue to change, and we’re changing with them,” AT&T spokesman Chris Collins said Thursday.
AT&T announced the closure of its downtown San Francisco flagship store
The store at 1 Powell Street in the Union Square shopping district is one of the largest in the country.
“That means serving customers where they are through the right combination of retail stores, digital channels and our phone care team.”
Collins assured that the employees would not be fired.
“We are proud of our continued presence in the community, not just through our retail stores and our local investment in world-class connectivity with our 5G and fiber networks,” Collins said.
“All retail employees impacted by this change will be offered jobs at one of our many other retail outlets around the city.”
The closure comes a day after Cinemark announced plans to close its theater in Westfield Mall and reports that Westfield said it was closing the mall completely.
Last week, a report by the San Francisco Standard Around found that 46% of stores in downtown San Francisco’s Westfield mall have closed since 2020.
Major retailers that have left the mall since 2020 include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Microsoft, Tiffany & Co. and Timberland
About 46% of stores – 45 of 97 – in Westfield San Francisco Center have closed since 2020, according to an analysis by the San Francisco Standard
A total of 45 of the 97 retailers operating in the mall – and 16 of the 36 food vendors – have closed in just over three years
Other major retailers that have left the mall since 2020 include: Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Microsoft, Tiffany & Co. and Timberland.
Westfield last month blamed “unsafe conditions” and “lack of enforcement against rampant criminal activity” largely for Nordstrom’s departure and said poor performance in San Francisco stood in stark contrast to its other locations.
Whole Foods, Old Navy, Gap and Office Depot are just a few of the stores in the neighborhood to announce in recent months their shopping closures.
Of 203 retailers that opened in 2019 in the city’s Union Square neighborhood, only 107 are still in business, a 47% drop in just a few pandemic-ravaged years.
San Francisco is now believed to be stuck in a vicious circle.
Office workers are now working from home, making the city center much quieter and making empty streets more dangerous. Rising crime then deters people from entering the city center.
And as the downtown empties, the city loses essential tax revenue and the neighborhood becomes less attractive.
Lost revenue for the city from lower property taxes could reach $196 million a year by 2028, according to modeling released in November by the San Francisco Comptroller’s Office.
The best-case scenario from the modeling predicts that the cost will be closer to $100 million per year.
The number of homeless people in San Francisco was tallied in February last year at nearly 8,000
A significant handful of high-profile criminal episodes, in addition to a number of store closures prompted by rampant and unprosecuted thefts, have tarnished the city’s image with potential visitors.
Technical manager Bob Lee has become one of the city’s latest murder victims. Lee, 43, was allegedly murdered by another tech executive on April 4.
The number of homeless people in San Francisco was tallied in February last year at nearly 8,000, the second-highest figure in any year since 2005, according to the official government tally which takes place every three years.
San Francisco saw a 41% increase in drug-related deaths in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the same period last year, as fentanyl devastated the city’s homeless population.