Nordstrom’s decision to close both its downtown San Francisco stores will reportedly cost hundreds of employees their jobs in another blow to the California city plagued by retail theft, homelessness and a raging drug crisis.
The high-end retailer informed the state’s Employment Development Department it will lay off 379 people when it shutters its San Francisco Centre Nordstrom and Market Street Rack store across the street in the coming months, according to The Mercury News.
Nordstrom did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment and further details.
The Seattle-based company informed workers earlier this month that it would not be renewing the leases on either location, citing the “dynamics” of the area.
“We’ve spent more than 35 years serving customers in downtown San Francisco, building relationships with them and investing in the local community,” Chief Stores Officer Jamie Nordstrom wrote in a memo to employees. “But 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.”
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The Market Street Rack will close its doors for good on July 1, and the San Francisco Centre location is slated to close at the end of August.
The decision comes as San Francisco continues to grapple with retail crime, which has soared in several parts of the country in recent years but is particularly rampant in the Bay Area.
The National Retail Federation’s 2022 retail security survey ranked San Francisco/Oakland as the second-most hard-hit metropolitan area by theft in 2020 and 2021, behind Los Angeles. New York City was third, while Houston placed fourth.
San Francisco is a tech innovation hub full of wealthy residents, but the safety of its streets has fallen under increasing scrutiny due to homelessness and open-air drug use.
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Phil Matier, a longtime San Francisco-based reporter with ABC7 News, told CNN earlier this month that the city has deteriorated to the point that it is “worse than the Third World.”
“You see empty offices, and you see tents. Added into this mix, however, is something that we’re seeing across the country that is just like an acid corrosive, and that’s fentanyl,” Matier said.
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“You put homelessness, mentally ill, and fentanyl together, and it’s worse than the Third World,” he explained. “Because it’s right under the shadow of the rich and the powerful, and it is not only tolerated. Until recently it was almost ignored in San Francisco.”
Fox News’ Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report.