Two more major retail closures are hitting downtown, one of them sort of predictable and the other not.
The long-lived Anthropologie store at 880 Market Street, a few steps from the Powell Street cable car turnaround, is closing its doors as of May 13, so fans of the brand may want to run down there to check out what's on clearance.
The store has been a fixture of the Union Square shopping district since around 2000, operating around the corner from sibling brand Urban Outfitters (80 Powell Street). But as SFGate reports, via an announcement on Anthropologie's website, the Market Street location is set to close. The website directs customers instead to their Corte Madera or Berkeley locations, however, confusingly, the Chronicle seems to believe the Corte Madera location is closing as well. (That is not indicated on that location's web page as of yet.)
As the Chronicle also reports, the Office Depot at 33 Third Street is closing as well — but that comes as no surprise, and will only be a great disappointment to downtown office managers in search of last-minute dry-erase markers.
Still, it ads to the growing raft of retail vacancies across downtown SF, contributing to "doom loop" fears.
Anthropologie, a trusted brand for a certain segment of female shopper over the age of 30, follows a string of closures that have left Union Square looking pretty empty as well. Spaces formerly occupied by The Gap, Crate & Barrel, CB2, Barney's, H&M, and Uniqlo all remain vacant. But this reflects a larger contraction across the retail scene, with the trouble starting well before the pandemic began. And the pandemic only pushed even more shoppers into online habits.
URBN Brands, the parent company of Urban Outfitters, launched the first Anthropologie store in Wayne, Pennsylvania in 1992, and national expansion soon followed. The company has around 200 stores across the US, Canada, Germany, France and the UK, according to Retail Week.
The company previously closed its Urban Outfitters location in the Marina in early 2019, but the Powell Street store remains.
Richard Wallace, a former manager at a high-end store in Union Square, commented to the California Globe about Anthropologie's closure, citing likely reasons that include street crime, low foot traffic, and rising retail rents.
"San Francisco is so concerned about stores leaving. Then protect them better," Wallace says. "Stop having people be afraid to shop downtown or in other places. Give people ease-of-mind for nothing bad to happen. And for stores, curb these crazy rent prices. Deter theft. Stop these crime waves that are quickly becoming a new holiday tradition. It’s been getting ridiculous."
Photo: Google Street View