SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Retail theft is forcing another San Francisco store to close its doors.
Cotopaxi is temporarily closing it’s Hayes Valley location, less than a year after it opened.
“Unfortunately this store has been a disappointment for us,” CEO and founder Davis Smith said.
Smith said he has always loved San Francisco. His outdoor gear and apparel brand has always done well online in the Bay Area — shipping here often.
Late in 2021, Cotopaxi opened a location on Hayes Street, near Laguna Street.
“From the very first week we opened the store we had our windows smashed in and a lot of products stolen,” Smith said. “We replaced the window and it was broken again days later.”
It didn’t stop there, he said.
“It was broken into four times before we could get someone to come out and put some boards up and eventually get a metal gate installed which took a long time because the demand is so high,” Smith said.
Smith said that people would steal from the store during the day as well, walking in and grabbing thousands of dollars worth of products before running out.
The employees started locking the door and only letting customers in.
“Our employees just no longer feel safe working there, and I wouldn’t either,” Smith said.
Monday, they decided to temporarily close the store after another theft.
Smith said it started when employees opened the door for one customer.
“Instead of just her walking in, someone was hiding along the side, they rushed in the store as well and this group started grabbing thousands and thousands of dollars worth of product,” Smith said. “Our team is not going to confront them. The last thing we need is someone to get hurt over a jacket or a backpack.”
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He said they are trying to work with other businesses in the area to possibly get private security — but they’re hoping the city and police will do a better job of punishing these types of criminals.
Smith also has stores in other major cities like Seattle, Denver, and Salt lake city. He also took to LinkedIn to blast SF in a post explaining his decision to close the store, saying SF had “descended into a city of chaos.”
“Honestly we’ve never had another window broken, we’ve never had another door broken, we’ve never had any vandalism,” he said. “We’ve never had mass theft in any other stores. This is the only store we’ve ever had this happen, so it’s been a bit of a shock for us.”
Cotopaxi still has 4 years on its lease at the Hayes Street location.