(KRON) — Longtime South of Market neighborhood business Cole Hardware announced its plans to close its 345 9th Street location in San Francisco. The small business is shuttering its doors amid National Small Business Month, which is celebrated in May.
“Our small customer base for that location evaporated and continues to do so,” current owner Rick Karp said in a statement.
The store’s last operating day will be May 31.
The store is offering customers a closing sale of 25 percent of everything at the SoMa store from May 24 through May 31 as they prepare to move their merchandise to other locations. The family-owned business has five other locations besides the SoMa store in North Beach, Rockridge, Russian Hill, Cole Valley and Downtown San Francisco. Cole Hardware first opened in 1920 in the Cole Valley neighborhood.
Store officials cite the store’s declining revenue and increasing operating costs since Covid as the main reason they are closing.
“I deeply thank the loyal customers in the neighborhood and beyond,” Karp said. “It’s devastating to have to pull back from serving you.”
This comes as several major retailers have recently announced plans to leave San Francisco citing public safety concerns and lack of foot traffic. Small businesses owners agree, according to a survey which cited dirty streets, inflation and a dwindling customer base as among business owners’ top concerns.
In the wake of this retail exodus, Karp urged shoppers to support local businesses.
“Amazon will survive without you,” Karp said. “Your favorite neighborhood shops may not.”
National Small Business month is celebrated every May.