Nordstrom, Saks OFF 5th Become Latest High-End Companies To Flee Crime-Ridden San Francisco

A closed storefront in San Francisco / Getty Images
May 3, 2023

Department stores Nordstrom and Saks OFF 5th, a Saks Fifth Avenue sister brand, are the latest big-name companies to vacate all their stores in Democrat-led San Francisco, which is facing an unprecedented crime wave.

Both of Nordstrom's locations in the city will close this summer, while Saks OFF 5th will close its store in the fall. On the same day that Nordstrom reported the closure, it announced four new stores in cities outside the Bay Area, the California Globe reported Tuesday.

"The planned closure underscores the deteriorating situation in Downtown San Francisco," a representative for the Westfield Mall, which includes one of Nordstrom's stores, said in a statement. "A growing number of retailers and businesses are leaving the area due to the unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees." The statement noted that "we have expressed serious concerns to city leaders for many years."

The department stores are far from the only companies to flee San Francisco. Whole Foods last month shut down its "flagship" location in the city because of "rampant crime and drug abuse in the area," the Washington Free Beacon reported. Just within the last two months, Walgreens, Amazon Go, and Anthropologie, among other businesses, have also shuttered stores, the Globe reported.

Though the deep-blue city last year booted out radical former district attorney Chesa Boudin, San Francisco is still facing a crime wave. Homicides shot up nearly 40 percent from 2020 to 2022, the Free Beacon reported, while deaths from the illegal opioid fentanyl have gone sky-high. Just last month, an attacker stabbed tech executive Bob Lee to death. In response, Democratic mayor London Breed has backtracked on some "criminal justice reform" proposals, saying in an April 28 tweet that conversations about reform must include "the experiences of victims of violence."

Most California Democratic officials, though, appear to have different priorities, with government agencies in the area focused on banning natural gas and recommending $500 million reparations payments to each black city resident.

Update 6:22 p.m.: This piece has been updated to clarify that Saks OFF 5th, not Saks Fifth Avenue, is closing its store in San Francisco.