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.
The closure of Whole Foods Market in SF doesn’t just affect the people of that city. I’m a farmer from the Central Valley that grows and sells a lot of organic fruit to WFM. https://t.co/3GlRguuOI6
— Westside Farmer 🦅 (@JoeDelBosque) April 11, 2023
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.
I’m incredibly disappointed but sadly unsurprised by the temporary closure of Mid-Market’s Whole Foods. (1/7) https://t.co/lthpC90xTL
— Matt Dorsey (@mattdorsey) April 10, 2023
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.
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.