Old Navy will close its flagship store in downtown San Francisco, the company announced Friday, joining a slew of chains that have shuttered stores amid rampant crime and retail theft.
An Old Navy employee told a local CBS affiliate the store, which has been open for more than two decades, has become a frequent target of shoplifting.
"They're [shoplifters] there every day. When I'm on the floor walking around I would say at least 12, 14 during the day," the employee, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "It's really bad because it's downtown San Francisco and it's really out of control."
Old Navy is the latest retail company to close stores in downtown San Francisco. Nordstrom announced earlier this month that it would be closing both of its downtown locations this summer, and Saks OFF 5th said its only location in San Francisco would close in the fall. Whole Foods closed its "flagship" location in San Francisco in April, citing the "safety" of its employees.
In 2021, Walgreens closed five stores in San Francisco, citing the challenges posed by an "organized retail crime" wave.
The San Francisco-Oakland area ranks as the second-most affected by organized retail crime, behind only Los Angeles, according to a National Retail Association survey. The company did not mention crime in a statement to the CBS affiliate, saying the "difficult decision" was made after evaluating the company’s "real estate portfolio."