Flagship Stores Announce Closure Of San Francisco Locations

Several large corporations announced the closure of their downtown San Francisco locations this week in the latest blow to the city. The planned shutterings follow a number of other businesses leaving the northern California city.

AT&T stated that it would close its large store on Powell Street in the city’s downtown. A spokesperson said that the company would focus on “the right mix of retail stores, digital channels and our phone-based care team.”

AT&T also announced the closure of another flagship location in Chicago, which has also struggled with a significant increase in crime over the last several years.

Westfield, the owner of the San Francisco Centre Mall, announced recently that it would be forfeiting its ownership of the retail center.

The company borrowed $560 million for the mall in 2016 when it was valued at $1.2 billion. Control of the mall will fall to a receiver.

The company cited “challenging operating conditions in downtown San Francisco, which have led to declines in sales, occupancy and foot traffic” in its “difficult decision to begin the process to transfer management of the shopping center to our lender to allow them to appoint a receiver to operate the property going forward.”

The movie chain Cinemark announced the abrupt closure of its Westfield location immediately following the mall’s announcement.

The closure occurred months before the theater’s lease expires in September.

The business closures came as a Good Morning America reporter revealed that he was warned not to broadcast live from San Francisco due to the threat of crime.

Chief national correspondent Matt Gutman said that when reporting on the Westgate closure he was warned by ABC not to film near the retail center. 

“The mayor noting that several metrics of crime are actually flat or down,” Gutman said during his 4 a.m. broadcast. “But it is worth mentioning that we are not at Union Square or the Westfield Mall this morning because we have been advised it is simply too dangerous to be there at this hour.”