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Crime Concerns Close San Francisco’s Flagship Whole Foods Market



A woman walks past flowers left outside a condo building where tech executive Bob Lee was fatally stabbed in San Francisco on April 4, 2023, (AP//Eric Risberg)
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Amid widespread concerns about public safety in San Francisco, Whole Foods closed its flagship downtown market on Monday with no word on when it might reopen.

The closure follows the shocking murder of tech executive Bob Lee in downtown San Francisco last week.

“To ensure the safety of our Team Members, we have made the difficult decision to close the Trinity store for the time being,” a Whole Foods Market spokesperson said in a written statement to USA Today. “All Team Members will be transferred to one of our nearby locations.”

Whole Foods opened the high-profile market just 13 months ago.

A City Hall source told The San Francisco Standard that Whole Foods cited deteriorating street conditions involving drugs and crime near the store for the closing.

SF Faces $800 Million Budget Deficit

According to The Standard, “San Francisco is staring down the barrel of a nearly $800 million deficit, and increasingly hyperbolic concerns of a real estate collapse, death spiral, and doom loop are becoming commonplace.”

SF County Supervisor Matt Dorsey tweeted Monday that he was “incredibly disappointed but sadly unsurprised” by the store’s closure.

Lee Found Stabbed in Front of Condo

Police found Lee, 43, on the sidewalk in front of a condominium building with stab wounds shortly after 2:35 a.m. on April 4.

His death ratcheted up the debate over public safety in San Francisco and its reeling downtown, which hasn’t recovered from the pandemic.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed called Lee’s killing “a horrible tragedy” and said the city is prioritizing public safety.

SF Crime

San Francisco had 4,966 violent crimes in 2021, according to the California Department of Justice. That’s a significant reduction from a high of  7,164 in 2013. But SF police stats show that property crimes plague the city.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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