An iconic retail store in San Francisco may close its doors after 160 years after its CEO warned the deteriorating conditions are making the city “unlivable.”
San Francisco retailer Gumps CEO John Chachas told the host of the Fox program “The Story with Martha MacCallum” that high crime and rampant public drug is out of hand.
“It’s a sad state of affairs,” Mr. Challas told MacCallum.
“I spoke to a customer today who’s come to us for 50 consecutive Christmases and who won’t come back because the city is in a difficult and awfully dirty condition.”
Gumps’ CEO said conditions on the streets of the city deter potential tourists.
“[I]f you can’t get around and when you’re trying to walk the streets, you step over needles and human waste and often bodies on the streets, it makes it an unworkable business environment,” Challas continued.
“[E]mpty offices on the one hand, and that element on the other makes for an unworkable business center,” he added.
“I think it can be fixed. I hope it can be fixed. I do. I do have ideas of how to fix it, but unless politicians change their point of view about this, it’s a very, very tough thing.”
MacCallum appeared shocked that Mayor London Breed and Governor Gavin Newsome, D-Calif., were not taking action to keep businesses in the city.
“I’ve heard by email from a couple of the members of the Board of Supervisors who I think are really chagrined at this kind of news,” responded the CEO.
“I have in the past spoken to representatives of Mayor Breed’s office.
“I hope because this is not unique to us,” Challas said.
“This is every small or medium-sized business in the city of San Francisco cannot survive. These kinds of things are incompatible with successful business.”
Chachas said businesses may have no choice but to leave the city.
Challas confirmed said he is seriously considering closing the store
“I don’t think we know yet,” the Gumps CEO said about possible relocation locations if the store where to close in San Francisco.
“First, I hope we don’t have to,” Challas continued.
“I would really like to see some things corrected, but if we had to, we sell in all 50 states, we have dedicated people in all the places that you would want to be: Florida, Texas.”
“There are lots of great places to be, you know, but our heart is in San Francisco,” he added. “We want to be in a healthy city.”