Store closures are hitting Downtown San Francisco as office vacancies and fears of crime are on the rise. Here’s the full list of retailers pulling out of the city’s downtown neighborhood.

Buildings housing Macy's and other stores are seen around Union Square in San Francisco, California on a sunny day.

San Francisco’s downtown, including Union Square, has continued to lose retailers from Amazon Go to Nordstrom this year.Barry Winiker/Getty Images

  • Nineteen retailers have left San Francisco’s Union Square area since 2020.

  • The latest departures include Nordstrom and Office Depot, The San Francisco Standard reported.

  • Retailers cite concerns over employee and customer safety related to shoplifting and other crimes.

Whole Foods’ decision to close its flagship store in downtown San Francisco made national news, but it is far from the only retailer to pull out of the area recently.

The shopping district around Union Square has lost several major retailers over the last few years as reports of crime and drug use in the area have caused safety concerns for both retailers and patrons. The area has lost 17 retailers since 2020, The San Francisco Standard reported last month.

Stores that have closed in downtown San Francisco over the last few years include:

  • Saks off 5th, which will close “no later than this fall,” a company spokesperson told SFGate on Monday. “Through the regular course of business, we continually evaluate store performance and other factors, and, from time to time, may determine it is necessary to close a store,” a spokesperson said.

  • Anthropology announced it will close its Market Street location this month. The store occupied a location near Union Square for over two decades, SFGate reported last month.

  • Amazon Go closed all four of its locations in San Francisco in April. Amazon also closed Amazon Go locations in New York and Seattle.

  • Whole Foods closed its store at Trinity Place on Market Street last month. The store was the site of frequent emergency calls since it opened last year, the New York Times reported on Sunday. Whole Foods said it closed the store “to ensure the safety of our team members.”

  • Office Depot said in April it would be close to a location near Union Square. Office Depot’s parent company ODP Corp, which also owns OfficeMax, closed an OfficeMax location at 14th and Harrison late last year.

  • Nordstrom plans to close its department store downtown as well as a nearby Nordstrom Rack this summer. “As many of you know, the dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully,” chief stores officer Jamie Nordstrom wrote in an email to staff. , according to The Washington Post.

  • Arc’teryx said in March that it would shutter its Grant Avenue store, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The Canadian outdoor apparel brand opened the location in late 2020.

  • The RealReal said it would close its flagship store on Post Street in February, according to the Standard. The closure came as the company announced it would lay off 7% of its workforce. The RealReal opened the store in March 2020, according to the Standard, just as work-from-home orders and other early-pandemic precautions started taking effect.

  • CB2 said in January that it would close its Union Square store, according to SFGate. The location opened in 2008.

  • BananaRepublic said in January that it would relocate its Union Square store to another location nearby later this year, according to the Business Times. The new store will be less than one-third the size of the closing location. Parent company Gap has reported losses and has said it is considering its store network to turn its business around.

  • Atleta, the Standard reported in January, plans to vacate its store on Sutter Street this spring. Gap also owns the brand, which has its headquarters in San Francisco.

  • The Container Store announced in November 2022 it would close its store off of Market Street and reopen in a smaller location nearby, the Business Times reported.

  • Crate & Barrel announced in February 2022 it would close its Union Square location, according to SFGate.

  • Abercrombie & Fitch announced in January 2022 its plans to close, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • DSW, said in November 2021 that it would close its Post Street store, according to the Chronicle. The store opened in 2012 but had seen lower foot traffic early in the pandemic, the Chronicle reported at the time.

  • Disney announced in August 2021 that its store on Stockton Street would shutter, per SFGate. The closure was part of Disney’s move away from physical stores. At the time, SFGate reported that Disney closed four of its five stores in the Bay Area.

  • Uniqlo said in February 2021 that it would close its Powell Street store, according to the Chronicle.

  • Marshall’s announced the closure of its Market Street store in January 2021, according to the Chronicle. A spokesperson for the retailer said that he decided to close the store after a review of its “real estate strategies.”

  • H&M announced in November 2020 plans to close its West Coast flagship store, located on Powell Street, SFGate reported at the time. The closure was part of H&M’s efforts to “constantly optimize and refine our physical store portfolio,” it told SFGate.

  • gaps announced it was closing its Union Square location in April 2020, saying: “We are confident these closures will strengthen the health of our company moving forward.” Gap, which owns several other brands, including Banana Republic and Old Navy, told the Business Times last month that it planned to open a new store under one of its brands in Union Square.

Most retailers haven’t referenced crime specifically as their public rationale for closing. Instead, many have pointed to “the safety of our team members,” which was the reasoning Whole Foods gave for closing its flagship store.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, which owns the mall where Nordstrom is located, said that the department store’s closure “underscores the deteriorating situation in downtown San Francisco,” according to Bloomberg. It also cited “unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees” in the vicinity of the Nordstrom store.

Walgreens, for example, closed five stores in the city in late 2021, citing shoplifting. Earlier this year, though, CFO James Kehoe said that the drugstore chain overstated the problem.

At the same time, vacancy rates in San Francisco’s office buildings reached a new record high last month, the NBC Bay Area reported. As in other US cities, the rise of remote work during the pandemic has meant fewer people in the city’s downtown looking for lunch or stores to run errands.

Other retailers, meanwhile, are moving ahead with new store openings: Gap told the Business Times last month that it planned to open a new store under one of its brands in Union Square. And later this year, Ikea is planning to open a store with a structure similar to a mall on Market Street, SFGate reported in February.

Are we missing a store closure? Do you work in Downtown San Francisco or have a story to share about store closures? Please contact Alex Bitter at [email protected] or via text/encrypted messaging app Signal at (808) 854-4501.

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