Money & The Economy

AT&T Closes Downtown Flagship Store In San Francisco

Telecommunications provider AT&T announced it would be closing its flagship store in San Francisco.

The retail giant announced the closure on Thursday, citing changing consumer habits as the major reason for permanently closing its doors, according to The San Francisco Standard. The company is officially shutting down on Aug. 1 and is the latest telecommunications retailer to leave Powell Street near Union Square in downtown San Francisco, the outlet reported.

“Consumer shopping habits continue to change, and we’re changing with them,” AT&T spokesperson Chris Collins said. “That means serving customers where they are through the right mix of retail stores, digital channels, and our phone-based care team.”

Two other AT&T stores are located within 1 mile of the flagship store on Powell Street near Market Street and will remain open, the Standard reported. Collins told the Standard that its former flagship store employees will be offered jobs at other retail locations within the city.

Last month, T-Mobile left the Union Square area, making AT&T the 25th corporation to close in Union Square since the beginning of COVID-19, the outlet said. Formerly a Bank of America building, the seven-year-old flagship store flourished in downtown San Francisco with BART and Muni metro stations nearby, according to the Standard.

Movie theater chain Cinemark Theaters announced Wednesday it will be closing a store across the street from AT&T’s flagship store, the outlet said.

“I’ve heard lots of things are closing down nearby,” a local musician in the Union Square area said. “Old Navy over there and the mall here—so AT&T, it wouldn’t surprise me.”

The city of San Francisco is facing persistent issues regarding open-air drug use, criminal activity and homelessness, which are impacting the business community. Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin sent a letter to San Francisco Mayor London Breed demanding change, following a Q&A event Breed attended on May 23 where she was booed off the stage.

“I know you share my concern that the brazen drug dealing and deteriorating street conditions have exacerbated a humanitarian crisis on our streets,” Peskin said in the letter. “This is not a new problem, but it is one that has become so visible that many San Franciscans do not feel safe.”

Due to several stores closing, discussions regarding a revamp of the Union Square area are underway, according to local station KTVU. Breed announced a plan on Tuesday to put $6 million into areas near Union Square, ABC7 News reported.

“That will be street improvements, to change the conditions to make the sidewalks wider, the streets more inviting, easier to get on the cable cars and the other thing it will do is provide support for those who want to start businesses along that area,” Breed said.

Dallas, Texas, will be the only AT&T flagship store left in the nation after the flagship store in California closes, the Standard reported.

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