High-end retailer Nordstrom is cutting almost 400 jobs as it prepares to shut all its stores in San Francisco amid rising crime and a faltering economy in the city.
According to official filings, a total of 379 jobs will be axed at the department store, which is in the Westfield San Francisco Centre shopping mall, and the Nordstrom Rack outlet a few doors down.
The upscale firm announced it was shutting both stores earlier this month, blaming the ‘changed dynamics’ of the crime-ridden city.
A host of major chains, including Whole Foods, Brooks Brothers and Office Depot have also shuttered stores, with a disturbing report showing 95 retailers downtown – more than half the total – have closed since the start of the COVID pandemic.
The Nordstrom mall location will shut at the end of August, and the Rack store will remain open until July 1, according to the Washington Post.
A total of 379 jobs will be cut at two Nordstrom locations which are shutting later this year
The high-end department store blamed changing ‘dynamics’ in the city for the closures
Meanwhile Mercury News, reports that WARN notices have been sent to the California Employment Development Department saying that an estimated 333 people are set to lose their jobs at the mall location, while 46 workers will be laid off at the discounted rack retailer.
Meghan Hannes, Nordstrom’s human resources director, stated in the WARN letters that some employees may have the opportunity to transfer to other locations.
‘We have not yet determined who will be offered these opportunities,’ she said.
None of the Nordstrom workers at either location are reportedly represented by a union.
When announcing the store closures earlier this month, chief stores officer Jamie Nordstrom said: ‘Decisions like this are never easy, and this one has been especially difficult.
‘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.’
Westfield Mall was more blunt in its statement to the Washington Post, pointing directly to rising crime running business out of town, which it referred to as ‘unsafe conditions for customers, retailers, and employees.’
The mall said ‘these significant issues are preventing an economic recovery of the area.’
Nordstrom is one of a host of retailers which have been hit by the so-called ‘retail apocalypse’ gripping the country.
Whole Foods announced it was shutting its downtown San Francisco location earlier this year
Downtown San Francisco has become a ‘ghost town’ as increasing numbers of stores close
Big-name stores such as Walmart, Sears and Walgreens have been forced to shut stores, while 50-year-old discount home goods chain bed Bath & Beyond filed for bankruptcy in February and is in the process of shuttering all its stores.
San Francisco has been particularly badly affected – with rampant crime leaving numerous downtown retailers throwing up their hands and moving out.
In April, Whole Foods announced it was closing its stores in Trinity Location just one year after opening due to widespread drug use, theft and aggressive behavior towards staff members.
At the time a spokesman said: ‘If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.’
Anthropologie and Office Depot have also shuttered stores in San Francisco.
Remaining stores like Target have been reduced to locking up their entire stock behind glass to deter shoplifters.
Downtown San Francisco has had a hard time bouncing back after the pandemic as shoppers have failed to flock back to the once-popular shopping location.
According to a report by the Union Square Alliance, out of 203 retailers open in 2019 in the city’s Union Square area, just 107 are still operating, a drop of 47 percent in just a few pandemic-ravaged years.
Ray Ban, Christian Louboutin, Lululemon and Marmot have all packed it in.
Another 12 new retailers have opened in the area since the pandemic began in 2020 but already two have them have either closed or plan to shut down.
The Union claims that about seven more new retail locations are hoping to open by next year but it will still end up being a net loss of about 90 businesses since COVID first hit.