Nordstrom Closes Its Downtown San Francisco Flagship as City’s Woes Continue

As crime and safety issues continue to impact downtown San Francisco, Nordstrom has officially shut the doors on two of its stores in the city, including a flagship location.

Jamie Nordstrom, the retailer’s chief stores officer, told employees in a May 2 memo that the Seattle-based company made the decision not to renew its leases at the San Francisco Centre Nordstrom store and Market Street Rack unit, located across the street. The Rack store’s last day of business was July 1 and the San Francisco Centre location closed on Sunday.

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“Decisions like this are never easy, and this one has been especially difficult. We’ve spent more than 35 years serving customers in downtown San Francisco, building relationships with them and investing in the local community,” Jamie Nordstrom wrote in the memo. “But as many of you know, the dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully.”

The news of the closures came in early May, a month after Whole Foods said it would shutter its downtown San Francisco store, and other retailers follow suit.

In the wake of the flagship closing, KGO-TV interviewed shoppers, one of whom said it was “a sad day.” The flagship store previously occupied 312,000 square feet and opened in October 1988 at the corner of 5th and Market Streets.

For its part, Nordstrom did not disclose how many employees would be impacted by the moves. But the retailer did reiterate that it would continue to serve consumers at 16 other stores in the Bay Area region.

“Stores continue to play a critical part in delivering our Closer to You strategy, and we continue to be opportunistic about new store locations, relocations and concepts,” Nordstrom said, adding that 20 new Rack openings are planned this year, with more to come in 2024.

The closures follow the company’s March announcement that it would close its Canadian operations, which included six Nordstrom stores and seven Rack stores. In early May, Nordstrom started laying off workers within its technology operations.

“As we continue to invest in technology as a critical area of our business, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our technology workforce, adjusting the team structure and eliminating certain roles to remain agile and operate more efficiently,” a spokesperson said. “We are committed to treating impacted team members with respect and supporting them through this transition.”

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