Coronavirus pandemic: SF's Union Square a 'ghost town' as shoppers stay home, stores announce closures

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area's retail landscape has changed dramatically in the past several days as the coronavirus crisis continues to grow and change. Many retailers are trying to protect customers by closing doors temporarily.

It only took a moment for tourists to realize this wasn't the same Union Square they've seen in post cards, it was empty.

"I was here a week ago, it was a lot busier, I was just thinking as I was crossing the street it was very quiet, a bit sad actually," said tourist Jeremy Bedwani.

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Sportswear giant Nike announced it will close its store at Stockton and Post on Monday along with all of its U.S. stores until March 27 in an effort to contain the Coronavirus.

Apple announced Saturday it was closing all of its stores for two weeks.

Also closing doors temporarily is Sennheiser Audio, Urban Outfitters, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Hollister.

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Other retailers like Lululemon, Walmart and grocery chain Safeway are changing or reducing store hours.

Macy's Department Store was open but very empty.

The Patagonia store on North Point Street in San Francisco is also closed temporarily as a precaution.

"I was going to return something at Patagonia but they are closed because of COVID19 outbreak, said shopper Darren Anorga.

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A security guard posted outside the Patagonia store said he was there to prevent any burglaries or looting.

In Marin County, there were few customers Sunday at the Town Center in Corte Madera, a sign on one store told customers to stay out if they feel sick.

Restaurants like Pig in a Pickle are struggling, but are now offering customers a new way to order food.

"We figured if people are reluctant to be around other people, you can order online for curbside pickup and stay in the car pull up, food is ready," said restaurant owner Damon Stainbrook.

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