Retailer Exits San Francisco Amid High Theft Rate

Nordstrom closed a prominent location in San Francisco amid a nationwide rash of organized retail theft. The closure of the chain store is one of a large number of businesses that have announced their closure or relocation from the California city this year.

CEO Erik Nordstrom said this week that the company’s losses from theft “are at historical highs. And I’d say we find it unacceptable and needs to be addressed. That being said, while it’s unacceptable, it is within our plans.”

The CEO cited issues with legislation surrounding retail theft. California currently considers retail theft of $950 or below as a misdemeanor.

The company’s San Francisco Centre location is planned for closure at the end of August while its Market Street Rack location closed at the beginning of July.

Nordstrom announced that it would be closing its locations in San Francisco earlier this year.

The company issued a statement about the closures after 35 years in the city’s downtown, stating that the “dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully.”

The closure will mean that the store eliminated almost 400 jobs.

San Francisco has been suffering from a sharp increase in retail theft since 200, with the National Retail Federation ranking the city and nearby Oakland as the second-worst-rated metro area in the country for theft. Only Los Angeles rated worse.

One of Nordstrom’s Los Angeles-area locations made national news after a large group of young people ransacked the store.

The Topanga Mall location saw between $60,000 and $100,000 in items stolen by what the Los Angeles Police Department described as a “mob of criminals.”

The CEO called the incident “disturbing to all of us” and added that the safety of “employees and customers is always a top priority.”

Los Angeles recently announced the arrest of almost a dozen arrests stemming from the recent theft and the formation of a new task force to combat organized shoplifting.