In October, Rite Aid filed for Chapter 11, a business reorganization in the bankruptcy court. Since then the pharmacy chain has closed 154 “underperforming” stores nationwide, and 42 in California.
This week, Rite Aid announced it was also closing its Woodland distribution center in Northern California, and with it, 241 jobs.
Additionally, an Office Max store is closing in Placerville.
The Rite Aid and Office Max closures show that it’s not just the tech industry suffering.
Levi Strauss announced they will cut between 10-15% of their workforce, mostly located in San Francisco.
Another Pharmacy chain has closed many stores in San Francisco, mostly due to rampant and serial theft. Walgreens has closed more than 20 stores in the city because of the massive amount of crime its’ stores suffer.
Amazon Go stores, Anthropologie, many high-end Union Square stores, several department stores including Nordstrom and Saks Off With, and the flagship Whole Foods store closed their doors, along with multiple boutique and non-chain stores in San Francisco.
Six Starbucks closed in Los Angeles over crime and drug issues. How bad must the crime be for Starbucks to close?
The downtown area in Sacramento lost a Starbucks as well. The now-closed Starbucks repeatedly had problems with the homeless transients coming in demanding to use the restrooms. They harassed patrons and their kids. They stole food. They attacked patrons, stabbed a patron, and another was stuck with a used needle – in my neighborhood.
Next door to the Starbucks is a closed Jamba Juice.
This was in fall of 2022, and the two stores remain empty and closed – nothing has gone in to replace them. The blight on the street is palpable.
In fall 2023, retail giant Target announced that another three Bay Area locations would be closing because of rampant theft in its stores, continuing the growing retail closure trend in San Francisco and surrounding cities.
In a 2021 Globe exclusive, San Francisco Police Department officers revealed that the iconic Target on Mission Street between Third and Fourth Streets would be shutting its doors. “This store loses $25,000 a day to shoplifting,” an SFPD officer told the Globe in lengthy, taped interviews. “That’s $25,000 that walks out the door on average between 9 and 6 every day.”
Target, Walmart and other retailers are now locking up products from toothpaste, makeup, deodorant to underwear and socks because of the rampant crime. Police in Oakland have told residents to add bars to their doors and windows to prevent burglaries and robberies,
California’s economy has moved from a strong manufacturing economy with full-time, high paying jobs and benefits, to a service economy of part-time jobs with minimum wage pay and no benefits. And the state can’t even support those jobs any longer.
As the Globe reported recently, if a business can move, small, medium and large businesses are packing up and moving to safer, business friendlier states for lower taxes, fewer regulations, and affordable housing for their employees. And they are moving because they are rewarded for being in business by other states – unlike California, which makes it as painful as possible to do business in this state.
California businesses are not only leaving the state, but businesses have been closing in record numbers, particularly since Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all “non-essential” businesses closed during COVID. More than half of the state’s restaurants did not make it, and even many large businesses succumbed. But that was just icing on the cake of California’s declining economy.
High taxes and high crime are the sure-fire way to facilitate a mass exodus of residents and businesses from the once Golden State.
“High taxes might not be so bad if residents received exemplary government services in return.” Forbes reported. “But that is not the case in California. Take schools and infrastructure. Its public schools are middling at best. WalletHub ranks California’s public schools 29th, behind both Texas (28th) and Florida (9th). Consumer Affairs ranks California’s roads as the 4th worst in the country and reports that drivers incur costs of $808 annually from driving on its bad roads.”
High electricity costs, the state’s utilities doubling the energy bills, high housing costs, high gas prices, and ridiculous decrees outlawing gas stoves and gas powered cars coming from the Legislature and governor just make the decision to leave that much easier.
As Forbes concluded, “California’s slow collapse is not entirely the fault of Gavin Newsome, but he has contributed to the process, and no amount of grandstanding can erase the hard facts.”