Whole Foods Market announced that a store in downtown San Francisco, will be closed after Monday, just over a year after the store first opened, because of crime in the city, according to a report.
The grocery store chain said the Whole Foods located at Eighth and Market streets will be closed temporarily as it deals with crime near the store that impacted its workers’ safety.
“We are closing our Trinity location only for the time being,” a Whole Foods spokesperson said in a statement. “If we feel we can ensure the safety of our team members in the store, we will evaluate a reopening of our Trinity location.”
Deteriorating street conditions around drug use and crime near the grocery store led to the Whole Foods location closing its doors, according to The San Francisco Standard.
There has been a massive decline in people walking in downtown San Francisco since the start of the coronavirus pandemic because of remote jobs. Many small businesses in the area have had to shut down.
The area has also witnessed extreme poverty, drug use and mental illness on the street.
City Hall officials are predicting a nearly $800 million deficit in the city’s budget, according to The San Francisco Standard.
The Whole Foods grocery store on Market Street cut its operating hours in October over high theft and hostile visitors, one of the store’s managers told the outlet. In November, the store changed its bathroom rules after syringes and pipes were found.
The company called the 64,737 square-foot location its “flagship store” in a press release last year when announcing its March 2022 opening.
Just hours before the store’s closure on Monday, the market’s aisles were still stocked with food and other products, and workers continued to fill shelves.
Board of Supervisors member Matt Dorsey said in a tweet Monday that he was “incredibly disappointed but sadly unsurprised by the temporary closure of Mid-Market’s Whole Foods.” Dorsey’s district includes the Whole Foods store.
“Our neighborhood waited a long time for this supermarket, but we’re also well aware of problems they’ve experienced with drug-related retail theft, adjacent drug markets, and the many safety issues related to them,” he wrote.
Dorsey, a Democrat, announced he will introduce legislation with Supervisor Catherine Stefani to amend the City Charter in an effort to fully staff the city’s police department within five years.
The police department has lost more than 330 officers since 2017 and its staffing level of about 1,500 officers is a far cry from its goal of having 2,100 officers.
“Whole Foods’ closure — together with many other safety-related challenges we’ve seen recently — is Exhibit A as to why San Francisco can no longer afford NOT to solve our police understaffing crisis,” Dorsey wrote. “San Franciscans — or at least the ones I represent in District 6 — are demanding solutions, and they have a right to expect that from those of us in City Hall. I hope my colleagues will support this effort. We owe our residents nothing less.”