Starbucks to shut down 7 San Francisco stores amid rising crime

In 2022, Starbucks announced that it would be closing sixteen stores across the US, citing safety concerns amid rising levels of crime.

Starbucks is the latest retailer to announce it is fleeing San Francisco’s crime-infested downtown core.

According to The San Francisco Business Times, the coffee giant is closing seven locations in the crime-plagued downtown core, including in SoMa, the Financial District, and Union Square, effective Oct. 22.

The company's regional vice president for Northern California Jessica Borton, told district managers in a note on Monday that the closures are due to "a standard process of evaluating our store portfolio annually."

Borton added that the employees at the shuttered stores can transfer to other locations in the area.

She noted, “There are several factors Starbucks considers when tasked with the tough decision of closing a store, but it is all part of ensuring a healthy store portfolio.”

Starbucks is another in the seemingly never-ending exodus of businesses from the Golden City which has included, Nordstrom, AT&T, Cinemark, Old Navy, Whole Foods, and T-Mobile. 

Westfield surrendered the city’s biggest mall, San Francisco Centre, to its lender and Park Hotels & Resorts previously stopped making its mortgage payments and turned over the Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 to the bank due to safety issues.

Last month, Target announced it was closing its downtown location due to rampant shoplifting.

Like Nordstrom which announced the openings of stores in other area locations, Starbucks recently opened a new store on Powell St., converted a store on Market St. into a pick-up-only location and opened a delivery-only location on Charter Oak Ave.

The coffee conglomerate is also investing $2.5 million in renovations at four locations in the area.

According to The San Francisco Standard, nearly half of Union Square’s stores have closed since 2019.

This comes after the San Francisco Police Officer's Association noted earlier this year that violent crime in the city has increased by 7.5 percent from 2020 to 2023. Other observed increases in crime rate include property crime by 20 percent since 2020 in addition to homicides shooting up 17 percent from 2020 to 2021.

In 2022, Starbucks announced that it would be closing sixteen stores across the US, citing safety concerns amid rising levels of crime.
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