Old Navy to close San Francisco store as city's retail woes continue

May 27, 2023 08:00 PM IST

San Francisco's retail landscape takes a hit as Old Navy and other major stores shut their doors.

Old Navy, a well-established retailer in San Francisco for the past 30 years, is the latest casualty in the city's growing list of store closures.

San Francisco faces a wave of store closures as Old Navy, Nordstrom, and more bid farewell. (Image Credit: Getty Images)
San Francisco faces a wave of store closures as Old Navy, Nordstrom, and more bid farewell. (Image Credit: Getty Images)

The Market Street location, situated just three miles away from Old Navy's corporate headquarters, is set to shut down on July 1 when its lease expires, according to a statement from parent company Gap Inc., which also owns posh brands like Gap, Banana Republic, and Athleta.

In explaining the closure, Gap Inc. stated, “Old Navy is always evaluating its real estate portfolio to ensure a healthy fleet of stores that can provide the best possible experience for our customers.”

The company acknowledged that, “the way we leverage flagship locations has changed,” leading to the decision to close the Market Street store.

Gap Inc. is actively seeking a new downtown location in San Francisco to replace the soon-to-be-vacant storefront.

This announcement comes shortly after Gap Inc. revealed its plan to cut 1,800 jobs nationwide as part of a cost-cutting reorganization. The job reductions were implemented in response to declining sales and profits, following an earlier elimination of over 500 corporate positions.

Unfortunately, Old Navy is not the only long-standing retailer in the Bay Area facing significant losses and subsequent closures. Nordstrom, another renowned brand, is preparing to shut down two of its locations in the city—the department store in the Westfield Mall and the Nordstrom Rack on Market Street.

These rapid closures will result in the loss of nearly 380 jobs.

Nordstrom's decision is attributed to the challenges posed by increased shoplifting incidents and a decline in foot traffic.

Joining the growing list of closures, other notable retailers such as Saks Off 5th, Anthropologie, Coco Republic, and even Whole Foods Market have made the difficult decision to exit their San Francisco storefronts.

ALSO READ| Crime wave forces Nordstrom to close San Francisco stores, resulting in 380 job losses

The impact of these closures extends beyond individual stores, as San Francisco's Union Square area has seen the shuttering of approximately 20 stores since 2020. This trend is reflective of the challenges faced by retailers in the city, including a rise in crime rates and a decline in consumer footfall.

The closures serve as a reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by brick-and-mortar stores, and the need for strategic adaptations to meet evolving consumer behaviors and address pressing concerns such as security and accessibility.

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