Historic San Francisco Business Warns It May Be Latest To Close Shop Over Crime

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August 16, 2023

A 166-year-old luxury retailer in San Francisco warned Sunday that it may be the latest business to close amid "destructive" policies in the city.

"Today, as we prepare for our 166th holiday season at 250 Post Street, we fear this may be our last because of the profound erosion of the city's current conditions," wrote John Chachas, chairman of the department store Gump's San Francisco. Gump's took out a full page ad in the Sunday edition of the San Francisco Chronicle to lambaste California governor Gavin Newsom (D.), San Francisco mayor London Breed (D.), and the city's Board of Supervisors for their "destructive San Francisco strategies." Among them, he cited the city's COVID-19 policies that advised people not to work in their offices, as well as the city's decision to allow homeless people to camp on the street, openly use and distribute hard drugs, and harass members of the public.

"Such abject disregard for civilized conduct," wrote Chachas, "makes San Francisco unlivable for its residents, unsafe for our employees, and unwelcoming to visitors from around the world."

Many businesses in the city, including historic ones, have closed their doors recently, citing crime and homelessness. Last month, the 127-year-old Anchor Brewing Company, which bills itself as the first craft brewery in the country, shut down.

Corporate businesses have also fled San Francisco. In May, Old Navy announced the closure of its flagship store. Nordstrom has also shut down stores, leading to a loss of nearly 380 jobs in the city. Crime has also caused several companies, including Uber, Airbnb, and Salesforce, to abandon their office space.

As a result, nearly one-third of the city's office space sits empty, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Homicides in the city increased about 40 percent from 2020 to 2022, and fentanyl deaths have skyrocketed, with the crime wave even affecting the business of the federal government. Earlier this week, the Biden administration told employees at the Speaker Nancy Pelosi Federal Building, home to several federal agencies and the former speaker's office, to work from home "for the foreseeable future" due to crime in the area.

Published under: Crime , San Francisco