The Whole Foods Market located at Eighth and Market Streets in Downtown San Francisco will close down after just over a year of operation due to deteriorating street conditions caused by drug use and crime near the store. The closure is temporary, and the company has stated that it will evaluate. The possibility of reopening if it can ensure the safety of its team members.
The store’s closure is attribute to the massive loss in foot traffic in Downtown San Francisco caused by remote work during the pandemic. The situation has resulted in the closure of many small businesses. And extreme poverty, drug use, and mental illness on the street have become more prevalent. The City Hall officials expect a nearly $800 million deficit in San Francisco’s budget. And there are fears of a “doom loop” in which a cascade of damaging financial impacts compounds.
The market took up 64,737 square feet and was the company’s flagship store in the mid-Market neighborhood. The store’s operating hours slashed last year due to “high theft” and hostile visitors, and in November. The store enforced new bathroom rules after syringes and pipes found in the restroom.
Allyn Mejia, an organizer at the nearby Housing Rights Committee. Said she was not surprise about the security concerns being the reason for the store’s closure. She shops at the market for groceries twice a week and hopes it will reopen.
Supervisor Matt Dorsey
Supervisor Matt Dorsey, whose district includes the Whole Foods Market, expressed disappointment at the store’s shutdown and announced that he would introduce new legislation with Supervisor Catherine Stefani to amend the City Charter and get the Police Department fully staffed within five years. The San Francisco Police Department has been down 335 officers since 2017 and has yet to meet its goal of having 2,100 members on the force.