J. Crew pulls stores from San Francisco amid rising crime

J. Crew is among the many other businesses that have fled the former crown jewel of the West Coast.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

Major retailer J. Crew is announcing its departure from the once-beloved city of San Francisco as an exodus of business continues in the crime-stricken city riddled with open-air drug use. 

An employee at the retailer said that the store located at Centre Mall will be closing later this month, according to NBC Bay Area. 

This store is among the many businesses that have fled the former crown jewel of the West Coast, citing rising crime, lack of police enforcement, open-air drug use, and repeated attacks and thefts from homeless vagrants and emboldened criminals. 

In June, San Francisco's iconic Westfield Mall announced that they were bailing on the city.  

Westfield said in a statement, "For more than 20 years, Westfield has proudly and successfully operated San Francisco Centre, investing significantly over that time in the vitality of the property." 

"Given the challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy, and foot traffic, we have made the difficult decision to begin the process to transfer management of the shopping center to our lender to allow them to appoint a receiver to operate the property going forward." 

Other major businesses, including Nordstrom, Whole FoodsT-Mobile, Walgreens, Saks OFF 5th, and Old Navy have all announced their departures from San Francisco within the past year. 

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has publicly claimed that the mass exodus of businesses in the city is not due to the increase in crime, but rather the changing directory between retailers and consumers. 

However, the immigrant owner of a smoke shop would seemingly disagree with Breed's claims. 

Zaid, co-owner of Cigarettes R Cheaper, stated that crime in the city of San Francisco is worse than Afghanistan, the country that he immigrated to the United States from. His store was robbed by a gang of masked thieves that stole more than $100,000 worth of merchandise. 

"The politicians need to get a grip on this because it's worse than Afghanistan or Iraq," Zaid told the outlet. "At least in Afghanistan the Taliban will cut your hand off and people are afraid to commit such a crime." 

The Afghan immigrant slammed San Francisco's progressive policies that prevent criminals from being held accountable. 

"They know the police won't do anything," Zaid explained, revealing that the robbers were inside his store for 20 minutes before police were able to respond. 

"We have drugs issue, we have homeless issue, and on top of this these idiots come in here and take whatever they want," Zaid said. 

In addition, billionaire Elon Musk, who has also been an extreme critic of the degradation of San Francisco, has suggested that he has been weighing options to pull the X headquarters out of the downtown corridor. 

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