CBS headline yesterday:
Whole Foods closes flagship store in San Francisco for staff "safety"
Whole Foods did not elaborate on the specific conditions that led to the store's closing. The San Francisco Standard, an independent newspaper, reported that Whole Foods pointed to nearby crime and drug use as reasons for suspending operations, according to a City Hall source.
From the Standard's article cited by CBS
Since the start of the pandemic, Downtown has suffered a massive loss in foot traffic due to remote work. Many small businesses have shuttered, while examples of extreme poverty, drug use and mental illness on the street have become more apparent. Fears of a “doom loop” in which a cascade of negative financial impacts compound have spread across the city, and City Hall officials currently expect a nearly $800 million deficit in San Francisco’s budget.
Reuters in February:
Rival grocers like Kroger Co and Walmart Inc remain fearsome competition. Despite Amazon's large business from packaged food and other goods, it has yet to win significant market share in perishables, [Amazon's Chief Executive] said.
[An analyst] said Amazon has itself to blame, having drawn consumers to online shopping decades ago.
"Retail is a tough business," he said. "They are flushing money down a toilet pursuing Amazon Fresh stores" and thinking "they can brand a new concept and capture share from retailers who have been successful for decades."
The store’s modern finishes and plentiful parking made it more attractive than the other eight Whole Foods in the city