Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Of Madness And Censorship


Nordstrom’s > Whole Foods > Walgreens Flee SF

When Walgreens started closing up stores in San Francisco in 2020, progressive activists and city leaders alike waved away concerns as “right-wing media,” and told anyone who would listen that the closures had nothing to do with the rampant shoplifting and other crimes that plagued the stores.

Then, Whole Foods closed a year-old store downtown last month, triggering a new wave of concern. “Male w/machete is back,” was one of the 911 calls quoted by The New York Times. “Another security guard was just assaulted.” The San Francisco Standard and others noted that there have been 20 major store closures since 2020 alone, including of Office Depot and Anthropologie.

But progressives attacked those who suggested the loss of Whole Foods indicated a broader crisis. The neighborhood was already dangerous, they said. It was thus a bad decision by Whole Foods to ever a store in… downtown San Francisco.

Then, finally, Nordstrom’s announced earlier this week that it was not only closing its flagship store, but also another store in Westfield Mall, whose owner blamed the Nordstrom’s closure on “unsafe conditions” and “lack of enforcement against rampant criminal activity.”

Nordstrom’s is different. Though the store exists in other cities, it has always had an outsized presence in San Francisco.

CNN and Senator Scott Weiner were on hand, as usual, to downplay San Francisco’s rapidly accelerating downward spiral. But this time, neither the San Francisco Chronicle or New York Times joined them.

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