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San Francisco’s Union Square loses huge luxury furniture store as Coco Republic says it’s closing

A Google Street View shows Coco Republic at 55 Stockton St. in San Francisco. | Google Street View

Yet another large San Francisco store is reportedly leaving the city’s downtown shopping district Union Square. The upscale home furnishings purveyor Coco Republic said Wednesday it would leave its three-story showplace at 55 Stockton St., which just opened last fall.

The closure, which was first reported by SFGate, is the latest blow to San Francisco’s troubled downtown retail sector. Last week, Nordstrom announced it was closing its store at the Westfield mall on Market Street, along with a nearby Nordstrom Rack. In April, Whole Foods closed its Market Street outlet after just a year.

In a message to SFGate, the company blamed the decision to close on a lack of foot traffic Downtown and safety and perception issues that have hampered the neighborhood’s economic recovery.

Coco Republic is an Australian brand founded in 1979 that chose the Union Square location for its first store in the United States.  

The company’s creative director, Anthony Spon-Smith, told Forbes upon the San Francisco store’s opening in October: “We’ve always been excited and inspired by California and the United States. Indeed, I’ve been traveling to the United States for many years and imported from many American manufacturers over time. The United States has always had a home at the heart of Coco Republic’s DNA and mine in particular.”

The store offers items including sofas priced from about $2,000 to nearly $10,000, plus chairs, tables, lighting, rugs and more.

SFGate reported the retailer plans to sell off its Union Square inventory prior to officially closing in the summer. 

Prior to being leased by Coco Republic, the store was occupied by Crate and Barrel. According to Forbes, the San Francisco store was 40,000 square feet and was the brand’s largest showroom, though the San Francisco Business Times said the space was even bigger, at 53,000 square feet. Offering 2,000 products, the store’s collection of merchandise, Forbes said, was “astounding.”

Peter Comisar, managing partner of Story3 Capital Partners, which owns a majority stake in Coco Republic told the Business Times in October that the store was a bet “on the regeneration of Downtown.”

“So we’ll see,” Comisar said at the time. “It’ll either be smart or really stupid.”

Union Square, which long has held status as the city’s premier shopping district, has faced a number of challenges over the last three years, including viral flash mob-style robberies and a marked decline in foot traffic because of a lack of office workers and international tourists.

Even with the news of the San Francisco location’s closure, Coco Republic is not completely giving up on the United States. In fact, the company just announced it would be opening its Orange County flagship location later this month.

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