Nordstrom delivers another punch to San Francisco as he announces his departure

Nordström Inc. plans to abandon its downtown San Francisco store, becoming the latest retailer to leave the area as the city grapples with empty office buildings and crime problems.

“Downtown San Francisco market dynamics have changed dramatically over the past few years, impacting customer footfall in our stores and our ability to operate successfully,” Jamie Nordstrom wrote Tuesday. , stores manager, in a letter to employees.

The company will free up more than 300,000 square feet (28,000 square meters) of space at Westfield San Francisco Center on Market Street, a shopping and tourist area in the heart of downtown. He also plans to shut down a nearby Nordstrom Rack.

In the last few weeks alone, retailers, including Office deposit and Anthropologie both said they would close their adjacent Market Street locations. The closure of a nearby Whole Foods was another breaking point for San Francisco after the grocer cited security concerns as the reason for his departure.

Retail departures are the latest punch in a city that’s already grappling with a tech industry downturn and engulfing crises Bank of Silicon Valley And Bank of the First Republic, two of the most important financial institutions in the region. Office workers have been slow to return and businesses, including Selling power Inc and Metaplatforms Inc. abandons offices, hurting small businesses in the area struggling to survive. City officials have projected a deficit of $780 million over the next two fiscal years.

San Francisco’s homelessness crisis and public safety concerns are also centered in the downtown area, leading to high-profile retail theft spasms and outcry from retailers that the city isn’t doing enough.

“The planned closure of Nordstrom underscores the deteriorating situation in downtown San Francisco,” Westfield mall owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said in a statement. “A growing number of retailers and businesses are leaving the region due to unsafe conditions for customers, retailers and employees, coupled with these significant issues preventing an economic recovery in the region.”

City response

The Mayor of London Breed’s office said in a statement that it was seeking to ease security concerns by bolstering a law enforcement presence, including having two officers from the San Francisco Police Department inside the mall every day.

She also said Nordstrom’s location was a concern ahead of San Francisco’s latest economic downtown. Nordström farm another location in the Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco in 2019. Meanwhile, Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is try to leave exit the US market entirely.

“Westfield came to us several years ago with concerns about the long-term viability of this location for Nordstrom,” Breed’s office said. “The city was eager to get a concrete plan from them that we could explore, however, they never brought us anything to review.”

San Francisco business time announced Nordstrom’s planned departure earlier Tuesday. In its letter to employees, the company said it would instead focus on its 16 other locations in the Bay Area and its online sales.

California State Senator Scott Wiener tweeted that the closure was “horrible and tragic” but highlighted the need to re-imagine downtown San Francisco and address public safety concerns.

“Current conditions are untenable for future SF success,” Wiener said.

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