San Francisco Says Goodbye to Downtown Lego Store as Retail Woes Stack Up

San Francisco Says Goodbye to Downtown Lego Store as Retail Woes Stack UpSource: Flickr / Willis Lam
Tony Ng
Published on December 04, 2023

The iconic Lego Store in the heart of San Francisco's downtown shopping district is no more, packing up its bricks and closing doors last week at the San Francisco Centre mall. SFGATE confirmed with a Lego spokesperson the permanent closure, though the toy company kept mum on the cause of the shutdown. "We are always reviewing our store portfolio to ensure that we can provide the best LEGO experience for shoppers and fans," the spokesperson told SFGATE, sealing the fate of their outpost on November 30.

A Lego enthusiast would now have to trek to one of the other Bay Area locations nestled in neighboring malls—San Mateo's Hillsdale Shopping Center or Pleasanton's Stoneridge Shopping Center, to name a pair. But it isn’t just a matter of inconvenience. The sudden departure left no time for a farewell sale, no window signs—just a note slapped on the door indicating the end of an era. 

The storied downtown mall, the former Westfield San Francisco Centre, succumbed to diminishing sales and dwindling foot traffic, culminating in Westfield and partner Brookfield Properties turning over the keys to the lender earlier this June. With a new owner at the helm since October, the venture hasn't stopped the hemorrhaging of longtime tenants, with the iconic block merchant Lego Store just the latest to exit.

In a city where even wacky ideas like converting mall space into a Legoland have floated around, it's an undeniable setback for a community that holds the store in a special place in their hearts. For the displaced workers, however, there's a silver lining—with the company providing "financial support through the holidays," as well as job search assistance, per SFGATE's coverage.