Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Retail & Industry
Published on February 19, 2020
Why are so many San Francisco Walgreens locations closing?Walgreens at 730 Market St. | Photo: Trudy L./Yelp

Another prominent Walgreens location is closing up shop. The last day for the pharmacy's outpost at 730 Market St. (between Grant Avenue and Kearny Street) will be Tuesday, March 3, the company told Hoodline yesterday.

The store, which has operated for 21 years, is the latest in a string of San Francisco Walgreens locations to close. 

In December, the company closed another location in the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall, just a block away at 865 Market St.

That same month, Walgreens also shuttered a prominent outpost adjoining the BART plaza at 16th and Mission streets, causing concern among low-income and disabled seniors who depended on it for prescriptions. The same concerns were raised when Bayview lost its primary Walgreens last July, transferring prescriptions to a location over a mile away.

Company spokeswoman Alexandra Brown told Hoodline via email that the closures are part of a “transformational cost management program” that Walgreens is undergoing.

Last August, the company announced plans to shutter 200 locations nationwide, with the goal of cutting costs after its quarterly net income tumbled nearly 25 percent.

But it appears that another factor may also be at play: tipster Al Andarin told Hoodline that he spoke to an employee at the 730 Market store, who said the closure was due to shoplifting.

"[She] said that the store couldn’t cope with the shoplifting, which she said was $1,000/day," he wrote.

Shoplifting was also a factor in the April 2019 closure of a CVS location a few blocks away, at 995 Market St.

Empty shelves at the Walgreens on 730 Market St. | Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Brown said that prescriptions for the 730 Market St. store will automatically transfer to 825 Market St. (at Fourth Street), the last remaining Walgreens on that stretch of Market. (An outpost at 776 Market St. closed in 2016.)

A majority of the employees will be transferred to that location, or to other Walgreens stores, she said.

“The decision to close it was not easy,” Brown said. "[But] given that these closures will represent less than three percent of our stores overall, and given that we have multiple locations in many markets, we anticipate minimal disruption to customers and patients.”

“We will continue to be the strong community supporter San Francisco has known us to be.”

Thanks to Albertino M., Gabe K. and Al Andarin for their tips and photos! See something interesting while you’re out and about? Text Hoodline and we’ll try to find out what’s going on: (415) 200-3233.