Major stores continue to pull out of crime-ridden San Francisco, with a disturbing report showing 95 downtown retailers — more than half — have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic.
At least one more is scheduled, with Williams-Sonoma announcing they will close in 204.
Of the 203 retailers that opened in the city’s Union Square area in 2019, only 107 are still operating, a 47 percent drop in just a few pandemic-ravaged years.
Among the heavy hitters, Brooks Brothers, Ray Ban, Christian Louboutin, Lululemon and Marmot wrapped it all up.
An additional 12 new retailers have opened in the area since the pandemic began in 2020, but two have already closed or are planning to close.
Major stores continue to pull out of crime-ridden San Francisco, with a disturbing report showing 95 downtown retailers — more than half — have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic
The Union Square Alliance claims it hopes to open about seven more store locations next year, but will still see a net loss of about 90 businesses since the initial blow of COVID.
The rampant crime in downtown San Francisco has led countless shopkeepers to throw up their hands and leave.
In April, Whole Foods announced it was closing its locations, while Anthropologie and Office Depot also left.
Remaining stores like Target have been reduced to locking their entire inventory behind glass to deter shoplifters.
An important note is that The San Francisco Standard’s figures do not include the 100 stores in the Westfield San Francisco Center Mall.
They also didn’t count cannabis dispensaries, two of which also packed up and left town during the pandemic, or service companies.
“These kinds of decisions are never easy, and this one was particularly difficult,” Nordstrom wrote in his email.
“However, as many of you know, the dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically in recent years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully.”
Westfield Mall was much more blunt in its statement to the Washington Post, pointing directly to the rising crime rate running out-of-town businesses, which it refers to as “unsafe conditions for customers, retailers and employees.”
Of the 203 retailers that opened in the city’s Union Square area in 2019, only 107 are still operating, a 47 percent drop in just a few pandemic-ravaged years
Among the heavy hitters, Brooks Brothers, Ray Ban, Christian Louboutin, Lululemon and Marmot have it all wrapped up
An additional 12 new retailers have opened in the area since the pandemic began in 2020, but two have already closed or are planning to close
The Nordstrom Rack in downtown San Francisco, which closes on July 1
Whole Foods previously closed a flagship store in downtown San Francisco
The mall said “these major issues are impeding an economic recovery for the area.”
Nordstrom joins the growing list of stores that have left the coastal city, including H&M, Marshall’s, Gap and Banana Republic.
Despite official reports that San Francisco’s crime rate is on the decline, a former district attorney said this month that the city’s liberal district attorney’s decision not to prosecute many crimes skewed those numbers.
Gap was the first to announce its departure in August 2020, followed shortly by H&M and Marshall’s. As the years progressed, more stores slowly retreated.
The Market Street Anthropologie will close on May 13, the San Francisco Chronicle. As a result, the brand will no longer have a branch in the city.
Office Depot, located on Third Street, will also close, but the exact closing date is unknown. The brand has a larger store on Geary Boulevard, which will not close.
The Market Street Anthropologie (pictured) will close its doors on May 13
Office Depot, located on Third Street (pictured), will also close
Downtown San Francisco has had a hard time bouncing back from the pandemic, as shoppers have not returned en masse to the once-popular retail location.
The city as a whole is struggling to recover as the city’s residents continue to battle a crime epidemic, which recently came into sharp focus with the assassination of Cash App CEO Bob Lee and the brutal broad daylight attack on the former fire commissioner of the United States. city.
While crime is down nearly eight percent compared to the same time last year, stores have started locking up merchandise.
A Target store in San Francisco has locked its entire assortment.
A video posted to TikTok on April 20 shows all of the items pinned behind glass.
According to geotagged images, some products at the Folsom Street store had been locked and keyed since at least October last year, WNCT reported.
A Target location in San Francisco has been forced to put its inventory behind glass to deter shoplifting
Organic food giant Whole Foods opened a new “flagship” location on Trinity Place in the city’s Tenderloin District in March 2022, hoping to revive visitor numbers after two years of draconian COVID-19 restrictions the companies seriously affected in the area.
But a Whole Foods spokesperson declared the store closed due to staff safety concerns. “We are closing only our Trinity location for now,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.”
The company cited deteriorating street conditions around drug use and crime near the store as the driving factors behind the closure.
Industry groups have noted the problem with theft, with the National Retail Federation saying organized retail crime is costing stores about $100 billion a year, according to a survey of 2022.
In 2021, retailers saw a 27 percent increase in thefts