Things apparently weren't connecting anymore in San Francisco’s only LEGO store, located in the beleaguered mall formerly known as the Westfield San Francisco Centre, as that LEGO store quietly closed permanently last week.
There is no bigger poster child for San Francisco’s retail troubles than the former Westfield San Francisco Centre, whose EU-based owner surrendered the property to its lender in June, and since then an exodus of their retail tenants have left the place. Westfield took their name off the mall in July, and the shopping center has been losing more tenants since.
And now they’ve lost another, as the Chronicle reports the shopping center’s LEGO store closed permanently last week.
That Chronicle report confirmed what was seen in a Reddit post from this weekend, showing empty store shelves and a sign on the door saying, “We have permanently closed as of November 30, 2023, and we will miss all our friends and fans.”
A LEGO spokesperson also confirmed the closure in a statement to KRON4. “We are always reviewing our store portfolio to ensure that we can provide the best LEGO experience for shoppers and fans,” that spokesperson told the station. “As a result, we recently made the decision to close our LEGO Store in the San Francisco Centre on November 30, 2023.”
The Westfield LEGO store opened in 2016, and according to SFGate, the three other Bay Area Lego stores will remain open (at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, Pleasanton’s Stoneridge Shopping Center, and ironically, Westfield’s not-abandoned Westfield Valley Fair in Santa Clara). But SFGate also got a statement from a LEGO company spokesperson saying that laid-off employees were being offered “financial support through the holidays,” which does not sound like they’re being offered positions in those other stores.
The former Westfield, now San Francisco Centre is still open, and being managed by a third-party receiver that hopes to soon find a buyer for the property.
It should be noted that one idea that was floated a couple months back by a local architect for filling the now empty former Nordstrom space in the shopping center would be to bring in a full-scale (or mid-scale) LEGOLAND, of which the Bay Area only has one, way out in Milpitas. Maybe somebody is actually looking into this?
Image: Nish N. via Yelp