Nordstrom’s store in San Francisco closed after 35 years. Sunday marked the end of a 35-year run for the five-story Nordstrom department store in San Francisco as the city experiences a retail exodus.
The retailer announced the closure in May, stating that the “dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, negatively impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully.”
According to CNN affiliate KGO-TV, it was a “sad day,” and the 312,000-square-foot Nordstrom was an “anchor in San Francisco.” The once-thriving store was filled with empty displays, cordoned-off areas, and consumers riding the store’s iconic spiral escalator for the final time.
Last month, a nearby Nordstrom Rack shuttered.
Following Nordstrom’s announcement that it would close, shopping mall operator Westfield announced that it would relinquish control of its San Francisco mall, citing “challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy, and foot traffic.”
The San Francisco Centre, once a bustling shopping district in the city’s heart, has taken a significant blow in recent years. According to Westfield, total sales have decreased from $455 million in 2019 to $298 million in 2022, and foot traffic has decreased from 9.7 million visits in 2019 to 5.6 million trips in 2022.
The pandemic severely impacted San Francisco’s economy, as many Silicon Valley companies permitted flexible work-from-home policies, resulting in the departure of a large number of white-collar workers. After three years, corporate America has not returned in comparable quantities. San Francisco’s office vacancies have reached a 30-year high.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, well-known chain stores like Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Office Depot, and CB2 have also ceased operations in the city’s downtown. According to Coresight, a market research firm, more than 39 retail establishments have closed in the Union Square neighborhood of San Francisco since 2020.
Despite the difficulties, Ikea opened a three-story, 52,000-square-foot store last week. In an era of store closures and rising public safety concerns, city leaders are hopeful that the home furniture store will attract consumers to downtown San Francisco and support other businesses in the region.