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Crime Hurting San Francisco Retail

May 5, 2023

Nordstrom is the latest retailer to pull up stakes from San Francisco, as the area battles a crime and image problem. 

Nordstrom will close its two downtown locations, reports CNN.

“Decisions like this are never easy, and this one has been especially difficult,” wrote Jamie Nordstrom, Nordstrom’s chief stores officer, in a memo obtained by CNN. “But 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.”

According to CNN: A few weeks ago, a Whole Foods location that opened just a year ago announced it was temporarily closing because of worker safety. San Francisco Standard, an independent news website, has tracked 20 closures of major stores since 2020, including Anthropologie, Office Depot and CB2.

While crime may be a factor, the article also points out that “there are several other reasons that may have contributed to the Nordstrom locations’ closures besides crime. For starters, remote work following the pandemic has caused a decrease in foot traffic in major US downtowns, including San Francisco. Malls have also been fading in popularity with shoppers as they shift their allegiance online.”

David Harrison