Here are all the changes coming to SF Union Square's retail scene

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Friday, May 5, 2023
All the changes coming to SF Union Square's retail scene
New businesses are moving in, expanding, or adding residential and office spaces in San Francisco's Union Square.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- We've heard about the stores leaving Downtown San Francisco. But what you may not have heard about - the businesses moving in, expanding, or adding residential or office space.

On Thursday, San Francisco city officials asked the Planning Commission to make zoning changes so new mixed-use businesses could open in Union Square.

Union Square is the place to be if you like to shop.

"I do like the Nike store, I do like to window shop at Neiman Marcus," said shopper Krysta Gahagen.

"I just passed Banana Republic and I bought something," said Idrissa Driop. "I bought a pen and a shirt."

MORE: Nordstrom to close both Downtown San Francisco stores, company confirms

With retail stores across the country closing and others rethinking their brick-and-mortar locations, ABC7 News decided to take a closer look at what's happening in Union Square. We noticed three big patterns.

New stores are moving in, some stores are cutting retail space, and some stores are expanding.

In the Downtown San Francisco shopping core, a new IKEA store is going up at 945 Market Street.

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Coco Republic, an Australian furniture store, moved into the Crate and Barrel location at 55 Stockton in Union Square last year.

In Union Square, Banana Republic is decreasing its footprint. It's moving from the location on Grant Avenue into a smaller place on Geary.

MORE: Experts say why shopping centers need 'serious makeover' after announcement of SF Nordstrom closures

Some industry experts say retail stores and shopping centers need a serious makeover.

"They're downsizing their storefront, but offering something they think the consumer really wants," said Marisa Rodriguez, CEO of Union Square Alliance.

The businesses that are expanding include luxury stores.

"I think that was an in response to a huge demand during the pandemic. That demand has not stopped," said Rodriguez.

Chanel is moving from Geary Street into a bigger site - the William Sonoma location on Post Street. Yves Saint Laurent also opened new store.

Union Square Alliance said there's also a big demand for discount stores.

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"Store like Ross - they are looking for a larger footprint," said Rodriguez.

Ross, on Market Street, is moving down the street into a bigger space. It's taking over the space occupied by Nordstrom Rack and Sak's Off Fifth.

"I do shop at Ross sometimes," said Travis Pastori of San Francisco. "It makes a lot of sense. Because everything is so expensive."

There's also new event space going up at 100 Stockton Street and new luxury housing is going up at 233 Geary Street right above the Louis Vuitton store.

Despite the news of big stores like Nordstrom leaving, there are a lot of good changes happening in San Francisco.

"Union Square is vibrant," said Rodriguez. "It's an exciting time, so come on down and support your local businesses."

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