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Whole Foods Market Closes San Francisco Store Due to Safety Concerns

Retailer worried about security for downtown location, which only opened last year
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Whole Foods storefront SF
Whole Foods Market has closed a flagship store in the Mid-Market area of San Francisco following incidents of theft and crime in the area.

A year after it opened as a flagship store, the Whole Foods Market at Trinity Place in downtown San Francisco is closing its doors. At a time when rampant crime in the area is making headlines, the grocer is pulling out the neighborhood, at least temporarily.

The company clarified its reasons for the store shuttering in a statement: “To ensure the safety of our team members, we have made the difficult decision to close the Trinity store for the time being. All team members will be transferred to one of our nearby locations.”

According to local media reports, safety concerns led the retailer to shorten its store hours last fall. Shoppers reported that the store had also tightened up liquor purchases due to regular theft issues.

The office of San Francisco Mayer London Breed issued its own statement on the situation. The statement read in part, Over the last several months, the San Francisco Police Department and the Mayor’s Office have been working collaboratively with Whole Foods’ leadership to address public safety issues at their 8th and Market location. We will continue to engage with them about the future use of the site. The police will continue aggressively enforcing against open-air drug dealing, maximizing police response to urgent calls for assistance, partnering with retailers to address theft in their stores, and enforcing new street vending regulations to disrupt the sale of stolen goods.”

The closing, temporary or not, comes 13 months after the downtown Whole Foods Market welcomed its first shoppers. The 64,737-square-foot site at 1185 Market Street, with a store design that paid homage to classic San Francisco, was one of the largest in the Bay area and carried several products locally sourced in Northern California.

Whole Foods currently operates eight other locations in San Francisco, including another newer store in the Stonestown area less than 10 miles away from Trinity Place. Meanwhile, the company continues to expand in other parts of the country, opening a new 50,000-square-foot location on April 12 in Rochester, N.Y.

The first certified-organic national grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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