Banana Republic closes up shop at Westfield mall in SF

Part of corporate downsizing and an exodus of downtown businesses

Banana Republic's Sandra Stangl; Westfield San Francisco Centre, 865 Market Street (Loopnet, Linkedin, Getty)

Banana Republic’s Sandra Stangl; Westfield San Francisco Centre, 865 Market Street (Loopnet, Linkedin, Getty)

Nordstrom’s pending exit from the Westfield San Francisco Centre has been joined by another  retailer: Banana Republic.

The apparel chain owned by San Francisco-based Gap has left the indoor mall at 865 Market Street in South of Market, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The store opened in 2009.

The company said its closure at Westfield mall late last month was part of a plan to shutter 30 percent of Gap and Banana Republic stores. Gap is also laying off 1,800 workers.

“This closure is in support of the efforts announced in October 2020 to optimize Banana Republic’s fleet of stores across North America,” a company spokesperson said.

Banana Republic is also moving its flagship store from 256 Grant Avenue to a smaller store at 152 Geary Street in Downtown.

The Westfield mall closure comes after dozens of stores have shut their doors or will soon close in Union Square and around Powell Street, including Coco Republic, Saks Off 5th, Uniqlo, H&M and Anthropologie. The closure of a Whole Foods Market last month drew national headlines. 

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They blamed falling foot traffic in the era of remote work, a drop in tourists, a rise in online shopping and concerns about public safety and deteriorating street conditions.

Gap has shuttered stores on 890 Market Street and in Embarcadero Center and Stonestown Galleria. It also closed its Athleta store in Union Square.

The Westfield mall exit comes as its main tenant, Nordstrom, prepares to slip away from San Francisco’s largest mall, with other stores at risk of leaving at the end of their leases. A Nordstrom Rack will soon close across the street.

The lease of Century Theatres, taking up 52,000 square feet on the top floor, ends in September. The lease for H&M, which occupies 25,300 square feet, expires in January.

The mall, owned by Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, ended last year at 53-percent occupancy, compared to 74 percent at the close of 2021.

— Dana Bartholomew

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