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Old Navy to close downtown San Francisco flagship store after more than 20 years

Pedestrians walk near the Old Navy store in San Francisco, on May 13, 2023. | Jason Henry for The Standard

The Old Navy flagship store in Downtown San Francisco will close its Market Street location on July 1, a company spokesperson said Friday.

Old Navy has held a lease at the 801 Market St. location since 1997 and held a grand opening for the store in 1999. A spokesperson for Old Navy's parent company, San Francisco-based Gap Inc., said the way the company "leverages" its flagship locations has changed.

"We have taken the difficult decision to close our Market Street store when the lease expires, and we are already working to identify new locations in Downtown San Francisco that will better serve the needs of the business and our customers," the spokesperson said.

The store’s lease is scheduled to expire July 31. With the closure of the 73,000-square-foot location, the only remaining Old Navy in San Francisco is a small location in what Gap Inc. calls its laboratory spaces—which include its fellow Gap. brands Athleta, Gap and Banana Republic. 

Instead of being located in heavily trafficked retail corridors, however, these experimental stores are in office space the company already owns.

Walgreens at 825 Market St. | Garrett Leahy/The Standard

The Old Navy is situated on the same block as the Walgreens where Banko Brown was shot and killed by a security guard on April 27.

That block is also home to the Westfield San Francisco Centre, where Nordstrom announced earlier this month it would close its department store this summer. The company is also shutting down the Nordstrom Rack across Fifth Street from the mall, blaming both closures on the “dynamics of the Downtown San Francisco market.” A few blocks away, Whole Foods' flagship store at Market and Eighth streets announced its closure in April due to staff safety concerns.

Gap Inc. Has Been Downsizing

Gap Inc., which has seen its share price sink by more than 25% from the beginning of the year, has closed a number of stores in San Francisco over the past few years, leaving a dwindling presence in its hometown. 

RELATED: The Gap, One of San Francisco’s Most Iconic Businesses, Has Come Undone

The company has been in the midst of a nationwide downsizing that has included announcing it would lay off around 1,800 corporate employees in April. The company is searching for a chief executive after its former CEO, Sonia Syngal, stepped down last July. 

In 2020, the company shuttered its flagship Gap store at Powell and Market streets, close to the Old Navy location, as well as Gap stores in Embarcadero Center and Stonestown Galleria. 

Banana Republic, another Gap subsidiary, closed its Downtown location at 152 Geary St. as part of a purported move to a smaller flagship. However, that location has not yet opened. 

READ MORE: Nearly Half of Union Square’s Stores Have Closed Since 2019

The Old Navy flagship is one of many major storefronts to flee Downtown San Francisco. Nearly half of Union Square’s stores have closed since 2019, though several new stores have started operations in the neighborhood in recent months.  

And the upscale home furnishings store Coco Republic said on May 10 it would leave its three-story showplace at 55 Stockton St., which just opened last fall.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Banana Republic on Grant Ave. is closed.

Kevin Truong can be reached at