One year after opening a humongous flagship store in downtown San Francisco, Whole Foods announced it is closing the location. The company cites rampant crime and danger to its employees as the reason for the shutdown.
Whole Foods closes flagship SF store
A company spokesperson said the move was to “ensure the safety” of its employees, adding that the store at 8th and Market Streets will not open Tuesday. The store’s website has also disappeared, CNN reported.
The now-shuttered store, massive at nearly 65,000 square feet, was located at Trinity Place in the city’s Mid-Market neighborhood.
It opened in March 2022 and was one of the largest supermarkets in downtown San Francisco, noteworthy to the community for selling 3,700 local products.
“We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being,” a spokesperson for Whole Foods said in a statement to the San Francisco Standard. “If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.”
A source in San Francisco told The Standard that the drug use and criminal activity from individuals near the store played a role in the closure.
Geraldo Rivera, in a video report for Fox, said that the shutdown comes after the store has been plagued by rampant drug use, thieves, looting, and theft of the shopping baskets.
Why is San Francisco so dangerous?
The closing of the Whole Foods store due to crime and risks to personal safety comes only a week after tech entrepreneur Bob Lee, the founder of Cash App, died from a tragic stabbing in downtown San Francisco.
After Lee’s death, Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, SpaceX, and owner of Twitter, spoke out against the crime and violence in San Francisco, KRON 4 reported.
“Many people I know have been severely assaulted,” Musk tweeted. “Violent crime in SF is horrific and even if attackers are caught, they are often released immediately.”
“Is the city taking stronger action to incarcerate repeat violent offenders?” Musk asked rhetorically.
Over the past three years, since 2020, violent crime has increased by 7.5 percent, according to The San Francisco Police Officers’ Association. Homicides were up by 17% in 2021, and property crime increased 20%.