'A sad day': Nordstrom officially closes SF flagship store, shoppers say goodbye

Sunday, August 27, 2023
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco's flagship Nordstrom store is officially closed. Sunday marked the store's final day in business after 35 years downtown.

Nordstrom opened at the corner of 5th and Market Streets back in October 1988. The store spanned an impressive 312,000 square feet, occupying five floors of the San Francisco Centre mall.

"It's a sad day. It's a wonderful store. It's been an anchor in San Francisco," said Julie from San Francisco.

RELATED: Inside the empty flagship Nordstrom in San Francisco, closing after more than 3 decades
Inside the empty flagship Nordstrom in San Francisco, closing after more than 3 decades

Julie was one of the first shoppers riding the signature spiral escalator Sunday for Nordstrom's last day of business at the San Francisco Centre.

Leslie Simmons and her daughter hadn't heard the news.

"I didn't realize today was the last day. I'm glad we're here unexpectedly to walk around one last time," Simmons said.

The once vibrant store is now desolate with plenty of empty displays.

VIDEO: Nordstrom to close both Downtown San Francisco stores, company confirms
Nordstrom to close both Downtown SF stores, company says

"It's kind of depressing, being a native of San Francisco, just seeing how downtown is kind of going away," said Denise Alexander from Oakland.

Nordstrom announced in May it was closing the store due to declining sales. Employees say they were not surprised.

"It's definitely partially due to the crime in the area. COVID-19 had a big impact," said a Nordstrom employee.

This flagship store opened in 1988 and back then it was a big deal.

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ABC7 News was there for Nordstrom's grand opening when 60,000 shoppers showed up on day one.

Alexander remembers it well.

"Coming up the escalator, being excited about it," Alexander said.

On Sunday, there was a large police presence on Market Street. The future of the San Francisco Centre mall is unknown.

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"I will say this: we have some serious issues to work on in San Francisco," said San Francisco Supervisor Matt Dorsey.

Dorsey is optimistic.

"San Francisco has always had ups and downs, but I'm going to tell you we always come back. And I'm not going to lose my optimism about my district or my city," he said.

Sales tax revenue for South of Market, or SoMA, where the mall is located, has seen a 25% drop when you compare the first quarter of 2019 to 2023.

The mayor's office says it's working on changing laws and reforming taxes to bring more businesses to the area.

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