AT&T hangs up on flagship store in SF’s Union Square

Telecom giant to shutter location, citing changing “consumer shopping habits”

AT&T's John Stankey and 1 Powell Street in San Francisco
AT&T's John Stankey and 1 Powell Street in San Francisco (AT&T, Google Maps)

AT&T will close its flagship store near San Francisco’s Union Square, following in the footsteps of Nordstrom, Old Navy, Anthropologie, H&M, Crate & Barrel and most recently, Cinemark.

The Dallas-based telecommunications firm will shutter its San Francisco Powell Street store at 1 Powell Street, the latest business closure to hammer Union Square, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The corner store at the cable car turnaround near Market Street will close on Aug. 1, an AT&T spokesman said.

“Consumer shopping habits continue to change, and we’re changing with them,” Collins told the Chronicle. “That means serving customers where they are through the right mix of retail stores, digital channels and our phone-based care team.”

The pending closure of AT&T’s flagship store comes after Cinemark announced plans to shut down its movie theaters at the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall, across Market Street from the telephone store. Its Century San Francisco Centre 9 and XD theater closed this week.

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The closure came after Westfield and Brookfield Properties made national headlines by deciding to hand the keys to its struggling mall to its lender, blaming diminishing sales, low foot traffic and rising crime during the era of online shopping and remote work. 

After the pending exit by Nordstrom, owners will stop payments on a $558 million mortgage.

Just what will happen to the 1.8-million-square-foot retail and office space across the street from the Powell Street cable car turnaround is unknown.

The city’s image problem, which some say is based more on perceptions than reality, means  the kinds of national chains needed to fill the huge retail spaces in Union Square may be hard to come by.According to a Chronicle report, a quarter of the storefronts in Union Square are now vacant.

— Dana Bartholomew

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