It’s a rough spell for big-name national chain franchises that have only one San Francisco location. Last month, the only Olive Garden restaurant in SF shut down permanently. Now we learn from a Chronicle report that the city’s only Marshalls store will be closing too, with a closure date of Saturday, January 30, 2021 for the 760 Market Street store.
The Chronicle apparently learned this through a state unemployment filing, which noted that 84 people would be laid off, unless they chose to take a similar position at another regional location. (The same offer was made laid-off Stonestown Olive Garden employees, according to Hoodline’s reporting.)
But this one-off Bay Area store closing doesn’t make a ton of sense at first glance. Parent company TJX Companies, who also own TJ Maxx, is doing quite well during the pandemic. They showed a $3 billion profit in the most recent 2020 third quarter, and their profits for 2020 are up nearly 7% over 2019. Their stock hit an all-time last week, and is down only slightly from that high-water mark this week. So what gives?
TJX companies said in a statement to the Chronicle that the decision was driven by “real estate strategies.” which isn’t saying much. But it’s a fair bet that in downtown San Francisco, the parent company is paying much more per square foot than the national average. The ground-store retail location is in the triangular-shaped Phelan Building, and the Chronicle notes that upstairs office tenant Credit Karma is trying to sublease their 148,000 square feet as the company plots a move to Oakland.
The lack of white-collar workers downtown, combined with the current moribund local tourism industry, takes away that particular Marshalls’ two high-spending demographics, rendering the pricey rent a burden the parent company no longer cares to keep shouldering.
But if Marshalls apparel should happen to be your jam, there are still other Bay Area Marshalls locations in Colma, San Bruno, Emeryville, and El Cerrito.