A BELOVED furniture store is shuttering its storefront in a major U.S. city after operating for only six months.
Furniture retailer Coco Republic opened its doors in San Francisco’s Union Square with high hopes in the fall of 2022.
But now the chain is saying goodbye to its new shoppers, announcing the store will be completely shut down by the end of July — or whenever its inventory is completely sold out.
The closure is just one of many as downtown San Francisco continues to fare poorly in its ability to retain retailers over the past several months.
As crime picked up in the area, other stores such as Nordstrom, Whole Foods, and Office Depot also announced their departure from the area, partly attributed to high theft and crime as well as low foot traffic.
“It was a difficult decision and one that was not taken lightly,” a company spokesperson told SFGate.
“The recent closings of Whole Foods, Nordstrom, Saks Off 5th and Anthropologie show that ours is not an isolated problem in Union Square, and we hope the city will be able to address the issues that are making it so challenging to do business there.”
Coco Republic cited the “well-documented” issues in San Francisco as factors leading up to the closure.
The furniture store also said it took “numerous precautions” to protect both shoppers and employees, but it’s become “impossible” to keep the store operating.
“We invested extraordinary time and capital in our initial US flagship store in Union Square,” Anthony Spon-Smith, Coco Republic’s creative director and founder told local station KRON.
“Less than six months from opening, we could not be more disappointed to be shuttering this flagship location in our sister city, but ultimately, the safety and well-being of our customers and employees is our highest priority.”
Coco Republic operates three other locations in Southern California, including those in Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, and Commerce.
Coco Republic started as an Australian brand that just recently introduced its stores to the United States.
“The United States has always had a home at the heart of Coco Republic’s DNA and mine in particular,” Spon-Smith told Forbes upon the store’s opening.
While the retailer generally offers items priced between $2,000 to $10,000, shoppers can likely anticipate lower prices in the weeks to come as the store attempts to clear out its inventory.
“We love the Bay Area and hope to be back if conditions improve in the years ahead,” Skye Westcott, US president of Coco Republic, told KRON.
A LARGER TREND OF RETAIL TROUBLE
Nationally, brick-and-mortar stores have struggled to keep on par with their past financial performance as consumers shift toward online shopping.
The rise of e-commerce as well as high inflationary pressures on spending have created a perfect environment for in-person retailers to struggle – so much that some financial experts have dubbed the crisis a “retail apocalypse.”
Even retail giants like Bed Bath & Beyond have not been unscathed.
The home goods store filed for bankruptcy last month after more than 50 years in business.
All of its 360 locations, as well as 120 buybuy Baby stores, will be gone by June 30.
Major discount retailer, Walmart, made headlines lately for its own streak of closures as the grocery giant intends to cut down its underperforming stores.
A Walmart Neighborhood Market in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, will be closing down on June 2 after two decades of business.
A spokesperson told The U.S. Sun that the store is closing due to low sales relative to other stores.
Walmart also closed 10 stores during the month of April, indicating dark times could still be ahead for other retailers.
Target likewise announced it would be closing down four stores that couldn’t keep up with the chain’s financial expectations.
These are located in:
- College Park, Maryland
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Falls Church, Virginia
Stores across all sectors have been feeling the effects – a beloved auto retailer is shutting down all eight of its stores in Oregon this year.
A Save A Lot in Maine is also shuttering after years of financial difficulties.