Two major businesses have shuttered their doors in the City by the Bay in 2023 alone. Whole Foods Market (WFM) was forced to close its flagship Trinity Place location in April, more than a year after it opened. The branch had opened in March 2022 to much pomp.
"To ensure the safety of our team members, we have made the difficult decision to close the Trinity store for the time being," a WFM spokesperson told Newsweek. "All team members will be transferred to one of our nearby locations."
But according to an unnamed source who spoke to the San Francisco Standard, WFM managers cited the high level of crime and open drug use in the vicinity of Trinity Place as a key reason for the branch's closure.
An anonymous manager attested to the tipster's remarks, saying that the Trinity WFM location had already cut its opening hours in October 2022. The reduced business hours came amid high levels of retail theft and frequent instances of troublemakers. The next month, managers were forced to implement stricter rules around access to its restrooms after staff members found syringes and pipes left behind by drug users.
Department store chain Nordstrom also announced the permanent closure of its Westfield Mall location. Prior to the May announcement, Nordstrom had occupied the downtown San Francisco mall for 35 years. The closure scheduled at the end of August will free up more than 300,000 square feet of retail space.
"The dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years," Nordstrom Chief Stores Officer Jamie Nordstrom wrote in a May 2 letter to employees that announced the closure. This, he added, is "impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully."
The wave of business closures in the City by the Bay has been going on for some time now. Back in October 2021, drugstore chain Walgreens announced the closure of a further five locations in the city. This followed the earlier closure of at least 10 locations since that year began, mainly driven by retail theft. (Related: Walgreens closing 5 more San Francisco stores due to organized shoplifting.)
"Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that," said Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso. "Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average."
He added: "To help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment."
But San Francisco Mayor London Breed begged to differ. She claimed that "other factors" also played a role in the drugstore chain closing down its branches.
"They are saying [shoplifting is] the primary reason, but I also think [store closures happen] when a place is not generating revenue and when they're saturated," Breed told reported. "San Francisco has a lot of Walgreens locations all over the city, so I do think that there are other factors that come into play."
ZeroHedge's Tyler Durden put in his two cents on the matter. "It's hard to hide the economic consequences of bad policies and ignorant ideology. Eventually, the effects become undeniable," he pointed out.
"The establishment media continues to suggest the pandemic is the primary cause of the decay, but residents of San Francisco disagree. The majority of people mention crime and widespread drug use in the streets as the threat destroying the once vibrant retail environment."
He concluded: "It's over for San Francisco. As the saying goes, 'If you're looking for someone to blame, the fish rots from the head down.'"
Visit CaliforniaCollapse.news for more stories about the deteriorating situation in San Francisco.
Watch this footage of downtown San Francisco featuring a lot of shuttered stores.
This video is from the alltheworldsastage channel on Brighteon.com.