Nordstrom employees have confirmed when the store will close for good at the Westfield San Francisco Centre. The department store announced its exit from the Downtown complex in May, saying it would leave when its lease ended.
The Nordstrom flagship store will close on Sunday, Aug. 27, according to two staffers at the mall. They could not be named as they were not authorized to speak to the press.
The retail store said in May it would not renew its lease obligations at the Westfield San Francisco Centre and announced the closure of the nearby Nordstrom Rack, which has already shuttered. The two planned closures represent about 357,500 square feet of retail space, according to the San Francisco Business Times, which first reported Nordstrom's plans.
Yet even as Nordstrom plans to pull out of San Francisco, the store announced plans to grow its footprint across California with the opening of five new Nordstrom Rack locations across the state, including one in San Mateo.
The Westfield and its owner, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said in a May statement that the planned closure "underscores the deteriorating situation in Downtown San Francisco."
"A growing number of retailers and businesses are leaving the area due to the unsafe conditions for customers, retailers and employees, coupled with the fact that these significant issues are preventing an economic recovery of the area," the statement said.
Numerous stores have closed in San Francisco's Downtown core, many of which cited unsafe conditions in the area. A new Ikea store slated to open this year on Market Street announced in April that the store will feature round-the-clock security.
Law enforcement dispatch data shows police regularly patrolled the Westfield. Officers logged almost 560 “passing calls”—when officers patrol an area to demonstrate a police presence—at the mall from May 1, 2022, to May 1, 2023.
San Francisco’s emergency dispatchers also received reports of hundreds of potential crimes during the same period. The data shows reports of 118 petty theft incidents, 64 fights, 41 grand thefts and 24 burglaries.
But the troubles plaguing Westfield started well before Nordstrom’s planned closure. The pandemic and remote work decimated foot traffic in Downtown San Francisco, accelerated by the rise of online shopping. In the last year, city officials have increased community ambassadors and safety efforts in the Mid-Market area.
A June analysis by The Standard showed that 45 stores, or 46% of the mall’s 97 pre-pandemic retailers, have closed since 2020. While 21 new stores opened in the past three years, the wave of closures left the shopping center with many vacant storefronts.
Nordstrom and Westfield did not respond to requests for comment.
Liz Lindqwister can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org