Home>Articles>T-Mobile, Williams-Sonoma Latest Stores To Close In San Francisco

San Francisco City Downtown, California. (Photo: Lynn Yeh/Shutterstock)

T-Mobile, Williams-Sonoma Latest Stores To Close In San Francisco

‘The city really needs a new strategy soon, or else it’s going to be even more of a ghost town there’

By Evan Symon, May 8, 2023 7:08 pm

San Francisco’s Union Square faced two more major losses on Monday following the pull out of T-Mobile’s flagship store at 1 Stockton Street and the closure of Williams-Sonoma at 340 Post by the end of the year.

The Globe has also been told Pottery Barn on Chestnut street has also closed.

For several years, large chains and small businesses alike have been leaving San Francisco, either closing permanently or relocating operations outside the city. In the case of small businesses, some have left the area entirely, moving out of state or to other areas in the state. For the last few years, for example, Walgreens has closed more and more stores in the city due to the massive amount of crime within its stores. Higher-end stores have also cited break-ins and crime as major reasons for leaving. And just within the last two months, all Amazon Go storesAnthropologie, several high-end Union square stores, and the flagship Whole Foods store have all announced that their doors will be closing, along with multiple non-chain stores throughout the city. Less than a week ago, both Nordstrom and Saks Off 5th announced the closure of 3 main locations in the city.

While crime has been cited as the main reason for many going, high rent costs, a lack of customers coming in due to the concurrent office exodus from the city, the homeless crisis keeping many away from parts of the city, and the overall decline of retail have all played a factor in the high number of businesses leaving. However, shifting business strategies and the sale of buildings disrupting tenants have been the core blame for the most recent departures.

T-Mobile’s flagship location, which had long been Apple’s main store in the city, had actually started to shutter last month. However, little attention had been paid to it due to T-Mobile not making an announcement about it and customers simply being redirected by signs outside.

In a series of statements on Monday, T-Mobile confirmed that the location was gone due to a change in store formats from flagship-style signature stores to more localized stores that move away from the brick and mortar model.

“We recently reshaped our nationwide retail strategy to better take care of customers,” said the company in a statement. “This includes plans we’ve made in this area and a few others to move away from the Signature Store format in some cities to instead serve customers through a nearby Experience store. Employees have been offered roles within the company.”

Meanwhile, sources at the William-Sonoma at 340 Post said that the store will be closing at the end of the year. Few other details were given, although it is known that Chanel bought the location last year for $63 million. More details on that closure will likely come later in the year, including what, if any, store will replace it there.

“You know, we’re just getting numb to these by this point,” Richard Wallace, who helped manage a high-end store in the Square until earlier this year, told the Globe Monday. “Every week there seems to be another closure or two. I’m not sure how certain Williams-Sonoma is since nothing official has come out, but T-Mobile isn’t a surprise. That’s a big location. I mean, that was THE store for Apple for many years.”

“But yeah, closures went from being surprising to frustrating to being the crushing reality of everything in the city. Now it’s like when they announce those big K-Mart or department store closing lists. You just don’t feel it anymore. You’re just so used to it. When I went to a headhunter a few months ago, she just said so matter-of-factly “Oh, another one from the closings?” That’s what it’s like here. It’s like hearing a coal miner lost their job in West Virginia or a factory worker lost their job in Michigan.”

“The city really needs a new strategy soon, or else it’s going to be even more of a ghost town there.”

More closures are expected to be announced in the city soon as more leases end at retail locations.

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23 thoughts on “T-Mobile, Williams-Sonoma Latest Stores To Close In San Francisco

  1. I have lived in San Francisco for many years. I’ve never seen anything like this. It feels like the city is dying. By the way, the article didn’t provide anything like a complete list of the major chain stores that have closed. At least one Office Depot closed, maybe more. The Staples near where I live, which I relied on, closed recently. There is the Gap flagship store, etcetera, all gone. Is San Francisco going to become a west coast Detroit? But still the rents don’t go down! Or very little. Both commercial and residential. I bet a lot of new small businesses would be willing start up if the rents were lower. Because of the high rents, San Francisco has lost much of the variety of small retail stores that it used to have. Often quirky little stores, ones that maybe don’t earn large amounts of money for their owners, but are labors of love by their owners and are beloved by their customers. No room for businesses like that when rents are sky high. Landlords! Lower your rents and you will get some stable, reliable tenants.

    1. Strange isn’t it? The city is dying, and we the people who foot the bill for everything are forced to live in the squalor.
      Time is of the essence: Scott Weiner and all CA “progressives” need to be removed from office. They are anathema to civilization and care not a bit what their constituents want and need.

  2. Hey Newsom!
    Weren’t you the MAYOR of this dumpster fire of a city before you got pulled into Brownstain’s Or. Governor role?
    And now California as a whole is headed downhill just like San Francisco??.
    And you think you should be PRESIDENT of the entire United States???
    Dude, in the PRIVATE SECTOR, you’d either be FIRED OUTRIGHT for incompetence, or at least put on a personal development program….
    No WAY would you ever be PROMOTED!!!

    1. San Francisco, the New Bodie!
      A lesson here, bad policy makers especially those with Maoist ideas will turn any city into a ghost town!

  3. Soon SF residents will have to go to Daly city or south city to shop

    Utopia is still being constructed – the one that will have no laws, all crime, tents, syringes, shopping carts as suitcases, mental health issues, etc

    Lets not get in the way of Democrats building their utopia

  4. For at least a decade , I have been saying that the ONLY thing that will ever save San Francisco now, is another natural disaster , like 1906,
    There are entire blocks that will never NOT smell like urine.
    There is ZERO desire from the so-called ‘leaders to do anything but throw their arms in the air and act blameless.
    Now that covid is officially ending , how many people that were ‘one or two paychecks away from being homeless’ are now actually homeless.
    SF has always relied on tourism, but word is out, all around the world…..
    Visit San Francisco , where you can step over a practicing drug addict on the way to your Union Square hotel !
    Meet San Francisco’s finest when you make a police report for your stolen luggage and shattered rental car windows…..we like to call the broken automobile glass ‘San Francisco Snow’.

  5. They called it the “Summer of Love”—-riots, fires, looting, some deaths in several cities over many weeks. Then they passed the hat not for those that lost their businesses but to bail out the perps. I don’t recognize this country anymore.

  6. Grow up people! The business districts of the world ebb and flow. Shopping malls in the burbs are dying all over the place In my lifetime Union Square has died and comeback several times. I remember in the eighties having to go to Daly City to shop. Times change, greed comes and kills itself. This doesn’t mean that homelessness, drug abuse and other social problems aren’t also contributing, but truly people, life is a constant cycle.

  7. I am one of many who left and for all the numerous reasons people have reported. I am a professional, college educated, white man. I loved SF, but I no longer belong there. My entire extended family left for Savannah, GA. Our lives are much better. Georgia enforces it’s laws. People are nice. Taxes are low. Prices are low. The air is breathable. The US flag is flown. Georgia actually has a two party political system. I’m conservative and I fit in Georgia. People go to church here. My granddaughter is NOT taught CRT. California is dirty and actually stinks, extremely unsafe, polluted, infested with illegals who are paid to stay and vote (I know that this is true from employees and friends), English is a second language there, and everything costs way too much. BART is just flat dangerous. As a Funeral Director, some families even asked me to compost their deceased mothers. There is very little respect for human life in California. They view their own children as a nuisance instead of the hope of the future. So many are so evil in California. I pray that the State of California does lave the Union by sliding into the Pacific. California cannot be saved. It’s too late.

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