Nordstrom Closes Up Shop, Abandons San Francisco

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Erinn Broadus Investigative Reporter
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UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from Nordstrom and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office.

Nordstrom, a major clothing retailer, is closing two of its San Francisco locations, with the Westfield mall citing a “deteriorating situation,” downtown, a reference to heightened crime and vagrancy in the area, according to the San Francisco Standard.

Nordstrom announced it will not be renewing its lease at the location in Westfield Mall and a downtown Nordstrom Rack. Collectively, these locations represent about 357,500 square feet, reported the San Francisco Standard.

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

San Francisco has been experiencing heightened crime, homelessness, and public vagrancy, causing many businesses to retreat, according to the California Globe. The rise in crime spurred the city to bump police pay by 10%, with the hope of retaining and recruiting officers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“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,” said a Nordstrom spokesperson to the DCNF. 

Nordstrom joins the roughly 20 businesses that have left the downtown San Francisco area in the past three years, according to the San Francisco Standard. Whole Foods temporarily shuttered their downtown location on April 10, attributing their decision to “high theft and hostile visitors.”

“The Westfield came to us a number of years ago with concerns about the long-term viability of this location for Nordstrom,” said the San Francisco Mayor’s office to the DCNF.  “SFPD has worked to address concerns raised by Westfield to have dedicated staff and direct communication to address their issues.”

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