Westfield mall blamed SF Nordstrom closure on “inhibiting” crime

Nordstrom said the downtown “dramatically changed over the past several years, affecting customer traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully,” without specifically citing public safety concerns in an employee memo.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, which owns the Westfield mall where Nordstrom is closing, was more forthright, with a spokesperson blaming the city for “unsafe conditions” and a “lack of enforcement against widespread criminal activity.”

These claims are backed up by crime data showing that retail theft has increased in San Francisco in recent years. But some measures of criminal activity such as 911 calls at Market and Fifth streets are lower than pre-pandemic levels, suggesting there is less foot traffic and shopper activity, which in turn could lead to a perception of increased danger.

Statewide data show that San Francisco has a high rate of shoplifting reports compared to the rest of California and nearby Bay Area counties.

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