Another major clothing retailer closes on struggling Market Street in SF

Abercrombie & Fitch is closing its San Francisco store in the Westfield mall next week, joining a slew of clothing retailers that have shuttered along Market Street and near Union Square during the pandemic.

The casual clothing store will close at 865 Market St. on January 26. Other retailers around the world like Gap, Marshalls, H&M, Uniqlo and DSW also closed stores in San Francisco. Nordstrom closed its South of Market Nordstrom Rack location while keeping its Westfield flagship store open and the nearby Rack on Market Street.

Ohio-based Abercrombie & Fitch cited the expansion of online shopping as a closing factor. The company previously closed 137 stores in 2020, with digital sales hitting about half of overall revenue. The company, which also owns Hollister and Gilly Hicks, has reduced its locations by about 20% since 2019, when it had about 854 stores in total.

An Abercrombie & Fitch spokesperson said: “We are constantly evaluating our stores to ensure we are meeting the changing needs of our customers. This sometimes results in the relocation or closure of a specific location as we continue to create the more intimate digital experiences our customers are looking for. Over the past few years, we have optimized our store base while enhancing our digital brand experiences, where we know many of our customers enjoy shopping and interacting with our brands. »

The Westfield San Francisco Center and other malls in the Bay Area have been closed for months due to public health restrictions, a blow to retailers. Falling numbers of office workers and tourists in the Market Street area have dampened shopping, prompting many retailers to drop out.

They also face product shortages. Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Fran Horowitz said last week the company was on track for its highest operating profit in more than a decade, but supply chain delays have resulted in a stock shortage during the holiday season.

“As a result, we did not have enough inventory to keep pace with customer demand, which resulted in lost sales during the peak holiday period,” she said in a statement. “We believe that if we had inventory on hand, we would have sold within our previous outlook range. Post-holiday, as inventory landed, we experienced an acceleration in the sales trend.”

The company said fourth-quarter 2021 revenue is expected to grow 4% to 6% from 2020, but remain flat at 2% from 2019.

Roland Li is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @rolandlisf

Anne G. Cash